Possibly the most beloved poet in recent times... Mary Oliver. Astonished by life, simple moments, and quiet mornings. I've kept A Thousand Mornings and Devotions as my closest companions when I've felt unimpressed by life, love, or seasons. The words inside those poetry collections are nothing but healing. You can find the most popular books by Mary Oliver on Amazon here. ♡
“When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it is over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.”
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”
The Uses Of Sorrow
“(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)
Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.”
― Mary Oliver, Thirst
I Go Down To The Shore
“I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do.”
― Mary Oliver, A Thousand Mornings: Poems
“Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver
“to live in this world
you must be able
to do three things
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go”
― Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems, Volume One
"One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.”
How I go to the wood
"Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single
friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore
I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of
praying, as you no doubt have yours.
Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit
on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
unhearable sound of the roses singing.
If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love
you very much.”
― Mary Oliver, Swan: Poems and Prose Poems
“Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields...Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.”
― Mary Oliver
“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.” ― Mary Oliver
“I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world.”
― Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems, Vol. 2