Why Alexa Dirks gave in to the poetry of Devotions by Mary Oliver
Begonia is the stage name of Alexa Dirks, a Canadian pop singer-songwriter from Winnipeg. She is most noted for her 2019 album, Fear, which was a longlisted nominee for the 2020 Polaris Music Prize.
When Dirks was looking for a book of poetry to read, Devotions by award-winning American poet Mary Oliver caught her attention. She stopped by The Next Chapter to tell us why.
"Right now, I'm reading Devotions by Mary Oliver. I'd heard about Mary Oliver. A lot of songwriters, intellectual people and even non-intellectuals that I respect online had been posting about her and how much she had impacted them. I thought that was interesting as I'd been looking for some new poetry to get into.
What I love about what I've read so far is her connection to nature — and the way that she speaks of things that could be rather simple.
"I saw this book and it seemed like a good 'Mary Oliver starter pack' of selected poems from throughout her career.
"What I love about what I've read so far is her connection to nature — and the way that she speaks of things that could be rather simple.
"She has a whole poem about just staring into the mouth of this river and speaks of it in such a way. She does it in such a way that I love — she delights in some of the small things."
Alexa Dirks' comments have been edited for length and clarity.