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The Apple Trees at Olema: New and Selected Poems
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The Apple Trees at Olema: New and Selected Poems

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  367 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
The Apple Trees at Olema includes work from Robert Hass's first five books--Field Guide, Praise, Human Wishes, Sun Under Wood, and Time and Materials--as well as a substantial gathering of new poems, including a suite of elegies, a series of poems in the form of notebook musings on the nature of storytelling, a suite of summer lyrics, and two experiments in pure narrative ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 23rd 2010 by Ecco (first published March 5th 2010)
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Read Hass' meter and you hear stories,
stories of love, pain, romance, depression, and sexuality.
Accessible narratives told through verse,
yet you still have the mystery of poetry:
Here everything seems clear,
firmly etched against the pale
smoky sky: sedge, flag, owl's clover,
rotting wharves.

The collection is divided into a few chapbooks, each book containing its unique aura. Longer poems, like "Some of David's Story,"contained sectioned pauses that I really liked because I could stop to consider
James Murphy
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like the poems of Robert Hass because they're so enormous in scope. His poems are large blocks of prose, built like a loaf of bread in which metaphors have been embedded like raisins. I like it that his poems are so developed, so all-encompassing. Hass is like a brilliant dinner conversationalist--he starts in one place but elegantly touches on several ideas before he's finished. Though tightly controlled, it seems a little like verbal improvisation. You think he's lost his way in the poem. Bu ...more
Kathleen Jones
Feb 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The American poet Robert Hass wasn’t someone I’d taken much notice of until a Tuesday Poem friend shared ‘Meditation at Lagunitas’. It was extraordinary - not just the way the poet used words, but the thread of reasoning that moved through the poem. This was a poem about love, memory, longing (‘desire is full/of endless distances), and language itself:
.......‘the other notion that,
because there is in this world no one thing
to which the bramble of blackberry corresponds,
a word is elegy to what i
Oct 18, 2016 rated it liked it
I think most of his poems are about fruit and women's underpants. And/or Japan.
A little didactic.
Nick Reno
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
Beautiful and crystal clear. I find that I really prefer poetry that is part prose, and this really scratches that itch. Pretty good for a selection totally at random off the library shelf.
Rachel King
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
My favorite of his poems are from Field Guide, Praise, and Human Wishes.
Will Dennison
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful poetry about nature and the human condition. And many other subjects. I love the long form of the poems, his tendency toward narrative. Extremely honest and filled with heart.
Jeff Streeby
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much to see and hear in this one. And many routes to travel. This my third reading for selected favorites.
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read, but want to read again. Will read again next time I get to spend some hours up in Pt. Reyes and Olema....
Apr 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This is my first time reading the poetry of Robert Hass, and this collection of poetry draws from his previous collections Field Guide, Praise, Human Wishes, Sun Under Wood, and Time and Materials. Reading about Robert Hass sheds some light on the varied character and subject matter. He is respected translator, having worked with the Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz to translate his poems to English, as well as having translated the Japanese haiku of masters such as Bosho, Issa, and Suson. Hass is als ...more
I'm glad I became acquainted with Hass' work. It showed me another aspect of poetry, another approach and type of voice, that can be found in the writing. It was a very warm and inviting kind of voice that drew me into all the poems and always did its best to keep my attention and offer something in return.

Hass noticeably loves nature. The references to plant and animal species, as well as geographical locations,is very dominant throughout the poems, in some sections more than others. Although t
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The elegy for his brother, "August Notebook: A Death" is shattering -- superb. Much of the reviewing that this volume received in the press was a telling reaction to Hass's embrace of his role as a public poet. Embracing this role makes him a target for all those who would hew to the mainstream U.S. poetry without quite tolerating Hass's peculiar absorption of poetic styles from Rexroth to Gilbert to Oppen to Jeffers to Snyder to Paul Goodman to Palmer to Lowell. In short, he is too ecumenical. ...more
Diann Blakely
Hass's newest publication has as its anchor “Meditation at Lagunitas,” the poem whose opening lines became, almost overnight, a cultural mantra: “All the new thinking is about thinking / Hence it resembles all the old thinking.” In addition to offering us a carefully winnowed harvest to his own canon—see “My Mother’s Nipples” for an unexpected picking—from the past 30-odd years, Hass has worked tirelessly as a translator; and during his tenure in our nation’s capitol, he inaugurated “The Poet’s ...more
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Full disclosure, Robert Hass's Praise is one of my favorite books of poetry ever. It may have been the first book of poetry that I thought I understood, and later when I went back and read Field Guide, I was equally as transcended. Since then I have had mixed feeling about Hass's other other books. Of course his Milosz translations are wonderful as are his work with Haiku, but nothing had struck me as much as those to earlier works, that is until now.

The Apple Trees at Olema is beautiful, scient
Sue Jelus
Apr 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
I first became acquainted with Robert Hass in the 1970's, through a little book he wrote called Field Guide. I was charmed by that book back then. So I was excited to find this book (at a Borders Close-Out sale)and was ready to fall in love with him all over again. That didn't happen. This compilation included some poems from Field Guide as well as many subsequent books, including the Pulitzer Prize winning Time and Materials. So I'm glad to have it in my library. But, overall, Hass's poems were ...more
Mar 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Normaly I dont read poems but this book was ok I liked some poems and didnt like others, but I think it was good overall. This book of poems has poems that will make you laugh, cry, happy, and sad like any good collection of poems should. I had never heard of this author so it exposed me to someone new and I will definatly try to read more of his stuff. I also liked the cover on this book alot and the title and the whole nature feel while reading this book. Overall I will say it was a worth whil ...more
Dan Butterfass
Apr 07, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I was excited to read the forty or so new poems, but disappointed that they didn't seem to break any new ground from the poet's previous book, Time and Materials. Moreover, the flat almost dull tone of these new poems just seemed to tread water. There wasn't a poem or line that stayed with me, that I could mentally summon after I'd read it. Despite this, I remain an ardent admirer of Hass' first three or four books -- of every volume up through Sun Under Wood. Those new to Hass might want to buy ...more
Vincent Scarpa
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I think Hass is pretty fantastic about 75% of the time, and that's a pretty good percentage for a book of new and selected poems. Certainly prefer the selected to the new, and definitely not a fan of his more overtly political stuff—precisely because of its overtness, really—but in here are so many great poems: "Meditation at Lagunitas," "A Story About the Body," "Tall Windows," "On Squaw Peak," "Happiness," "My Mother's Nipples," "Faint Music."
Jan 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I really enjoy Robert Hass in video readings and lectures, but was less interested in almost 400 pages of his poems. Of course, there were 5-star poems in the collection, but most were too long, too esoteric, or too experimental for my tastes. The simpler and shorter his poems, the more I tend to like them.
John Tessitore
Apr 12, 2016 rated it liked it
I came to Hass because I heard him reading on the radio one day and he gave his poems such life, such joy--even the sad ones. They don't leap from the page in quite the same way. His tone is steady and tasteful, but this is a big book. Fireworks have their place in American literature--and a little showmanship here would go a long way.
Nicole D
Mar 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a beautiful book of poetry. Something for everyone - some long story poems, and some nice short reflective ones. I would definitely recommend this for anyone who likes poetry. Hass really has a way with words.
Justin Crawford
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This thick selection of poems maps the full evolution of Robert Hass, like seeing Whitman's first edition of Leaves of Grass and comparing it to the "death-bed" edition. He is a true sight for sore eyes.
Oct 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Hass (pronounced like lass, grass) is a wonderful American poet with sharp descriptive observations and a sense of history and place. If you've ever lived in Berkeley or the Bay Area in general, you'll find some wonderful surprises.
Amanda Giffi
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The new poems are wonderful. The selected poems include a variety of his best work, most well known work, and poems that may have been forgotten until now. My copy is especially special as it's signed by the poet himself.
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Accessible & nature-inspired. Easy to read, and relatable - totally my style.
Mar 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Drift away with Hass's magical poetry.
Keith Riegert
Jun 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great collection of new and old poems from a treasured poet. I loved seeing Hass' poems dating way back to FIELD GUIDE; it's a wonderful way to experience the evolution of his writing.
Dec 07, 2012 added it
Maarten Buser
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heel behoorlijke tot ronduit prachtige gedichten, waar je vaak goed op kunt blijven teren.
Genevieve L.
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant! Luminous!
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Poetry at its best 1 7 Apr 20, 2010 02:51PM  
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Robert Hass was born in San Francisco and lives in Berkeley, California, where he teaches at the University of California. He served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1995 to 1997. A MacArthur Fellow and a two-time winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, he has published poems, literary essays, and translations. He is married to the poet Brenda Hillman.
“There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. Such tenderness, those afternoons and evenings, saying blackberry, blackberry, blackberry.” 2 likes
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