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Mary Oliver

Literary Birthday – 10 September – Mary Oliver


Mary Oliver was born 10 September 1935 and died 17 January 2019

The 12 Most Inspiring Mary Oliver Quotes

  1. Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.
  2. Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.
  3. In college, you learn how to learn. Four years is not too much time to spend at that.
  4. 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.
  5. To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.
  6. Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
  7. Listen. Are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?
  8. Writers sometimes give up what is most strange and wonderful about their writing – soften their roughest edges – to accommodate themselves toward a group response.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
  12. 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 HandbookA Thousand Mornings, and House of Light.

Source for Image

by Amanda Patterson

Please click here for our Literary Birthday Calendar

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  1. Elise Birdsall

    Writing a book (or more) is on my bucket list. At 59, I should probably find a way to DO it.

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