[Review] Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver

Publisher and Publication Date: Penguin Random House. October 29, 2019.
Genre: Nonfiction. Essays.
Pages: 187 printed pages.
Format: Paperback.
Source: Self-purchase.
Audience: Essay readers.
Rating: Very good.

Mary Oliver’s Goodreads‘ author page.

Website for Mary Oliver.

Facebook page for Mary Oliver.

Direct link to the book @ Penguin Random House.

Link @ Amazon.

Link @ Barnes and Noble.


Upstream is an assortment of essays with various subjects all propelling the reader to continue Upstream.

Some examples of subjects are Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, birds, owls, and other nature subjects.

I believe most of the essays are pulled from other books she has written to compile this work.

My Thoughts:

This is the first book I’ve read written by Mary Oliver. I’ve heard other readers and writers remark about her. I’ve had her on my radar to read for a while.

Some of the essays I love more than others.

  1. I love “Power and Time.” Creativity needs quiet.
  2. I love section three on Ralph Waldo Emerson. I enjoyed reading about her analysis of his writing style, his personal life, and the particular subjects he wrote. She expressed how reading his words felt to her ears.
  3. I love “Some Thoughts on Whitman.” I love her feelings on his message especially in Leaves of Grass.
  4. “Owls.” I’m a lover of owls and enjoyed reading her observations of them.

Upstream is a book to read on a day when you need to relax and be transported to another place where there is life beyond the day’s troubles.

I feel Upstream is a solid introduction to Oliver’s writings.


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