Here are 15 elegant and evocative essays by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver. She writes about the solitude, discipline, and concentration needed for creativity. She salutes the companionable poetry of Walt Whitman and celebrates the zest for life in the writings of Audubon, John Muir, Henry Beston, and J. Henri Fabre.

The very private author reveals snippets of her life in "Steepletop" and shares some sense-luscious descriptions of foxes, fish, and owls. What comes across most vividly in these pages is Mary Oliver's deep respect for the mysteries and wonders of the natural world, for the endless variety of the creative experience, and for the glory of poetry that imaginatively conveys the vitalities of felt experience.