The outlay of this book gives the feel of one long, lingering poem. The first poem, on a day of writing while nature cycles itself outside Oliver's window, serves as preface into a series of walks, gaining insight from birds and deer, sea-animals, and a single snake, a copperhead proem. The final poems are darker, wiser--of learning death then writing death, and the sweetness of love in all its forms.
Oliver's form is lax, inventive, gentle, which I enjoy. I was eagerly reminded of Yeats, though instead of fairies, elves, and nether-worlds, there is the grandeur of forest animals, the mystery of the mammal, the avian, the sea-dweller, the skeleton. I felt Oliver's role as observer in the forest became too detached from the human-doings and I couldn't grasp her trails as thoroughly as I might have wished. But in this she gains a surreal other-world which, unlike with Yeats' nether-worlds, we can see with our eyes, following on the tip of her pen. I love her poems. I bit in and held on dog-toothed until I was done.