... we went to hear Mary Oliver read at UCLA's Royce Hall. Talk about rock star! This poet, now in her seventh decade like myself, managed to pretty much fill the entire hall--I'm not sure how many seats, but a big auditorium. She read with charm, with self-deprecating humor, with modesty, and her poems she picked were delightful, ranging from the well-known--"The Journey," and "Flare"--to sweet, short tributes to her dog, Percy. A keen observer of the natural world, she writes about it with obvious passion. For me, what her poems lack is a kind of bite, a complexity that leaves me engaged in what she has to say, perhaps a bit mystified, challenged to come back and read again to be sure I didn't miss some important part of them. It felt a bit like dessert to me, with the soup and the main course lacking. I love nature, too. I want to learn more than I already know, to see something I have not already seen. Perhaps, you readers of poetry out there, perhaps you disagree.