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 (winner of the 2007 National Book Award and 2008 Pulitzer Prize), and a substantial gathering of more recent poems, includes a suite of elegies, a series of poems in the form of notebook musing on the nature of story-telling, a suite of summer lyrics, and two experiments in pure narrative which meditate on personal relations in a violent world and read like small luminous novellas.
Hass's work is grounded in the beauty of the physical world. His familiar landscapes-San Francisco, the Northern California coast, the Sierra high country - are vividly alive in his work. His themes have included art, the natural world, the nature of desire, family life, the life between lovers, the violence of history, and the power and inherent limitations of language. He is a poet whom one feels is trying to say as fully as he can what it is like to be alive in his place and time. Because he has published so little work, every new book is a major event in poetry, and THE APPLE TREES AT OLEMA has proved no exception.