Mary Oliver was born 10 September 1935 and died 17 January 2019
The 12 Most Inspiring Mary Oliver Quotes
- Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.
- Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.
- In college, you learn how to learn. Four years is not too much time to spend at that.
- 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.
- To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.
- Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
- Listen. Are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?
- Writers sometimes give up what is most strange and wonderful about their writing – soften their roughest edges – to accommodate themselves toward a group response.
- You can have the other words—chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity. I’ll take grace. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’ll take it.
- If I’ve done my work well, I vanish completely from the scene. I believe it is invasive of the work when you know too much about the writer.
- I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
- Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.
Mary Oliver was an American poet. A winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, The New York Times described her as America’s best-selling poet. She was the author of A Poetry Handbook, A Thousand Mornings, and House of Light.
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