Thursday, January 10, 2008

Mary Oliver's Tribute to Molly Malone Cook

She had me at American Primitive. Sure, I was a child when it was published and didn’t read it until 1987, but that was the book that brought me into Mary Oliver’s orbit. I’ve been there, happily, ever since. Now she has a new book out with photographs by her long-time partner, Molly Malone Cook. I think I am going to start answering the telephone as someone else and then pretend to be her pretending to be me when we talk. Read the article in the Los Angeles Times, here, and you’ll understand.

What I love about Oliver these days is how she’s an open lesbian. I wanted her to be one so desperately in 1987 which I was just figuring out that I was. So in addition to her lovely poetry, I’m so pleased that she is now open as a lesbian and that it all just seems perfectly fine to encounter an article like the one below in the newspaper today. Big changes in my lifetime.

'Our World' by Mary Oliver
The photographs of the late Molly Malone Cook, with a text by her partner, poet Mary Oliver.

By Susan Salter Reynolds

Our World
Mary Oliver, photographs by Molly Malone Cook
Beacon Press: 88 pp. $24.95

USED to be, if you telephoned the poet Mary Oliver, her partner Molly Cook would invariably answer. Read the rest of the article.

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