Mary Oliver

Rating: 4.33
Rating: 4.33

Mary Oliver Poems

There is a thing in me that dreamed of trees,
A quiet house, some green and modest acres
A little way from every troubling town,
A little way from factories, schools, laments.
...

My father, for example,
who was young once
and blue-eyed,
returns
...

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
...

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
...

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
...

Whispering to each handhold, "I'll be back,"
I go up the cliff in the dark. One place
I loosen a rock and listen a long time
till it hits, faint in the gulf, but the rush
...

Every day
I see or hear
something
that more or less
...

When the blackberries hang
swollen in the woods, in the brambles
nobody owns, I spend
...

Okay, not one can write a symphony, or a dictionary,

or even a letter to an old friend, full of remembrance
and comfort.
...

She steps into the dark swamp
where the long wait ends.

The secret slippery package
...

At Blackwater Pond the tossed waters have settled
after a night of rain.
I dip my cupped hands. I drink
a long time. It tastes
...

Some kind of relaxed and beautiful thing
kept flickering in with the tide
and looking around.
Black as a fisherman's boot,
...

Cold now.
Close to the edge. Almost
unbearable. Clouds
bunch up and boil down
...

She sends me news of blue jays, frost,
Of stars and now the harvest moon
That rides above the stricken hills.
Lightly, she speaks of cold, of pain,
...

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean--
...

It is possible, I suppose that sometime
we will learn everything
there is to learn: what the world is, for example,
and what it means. I think this as I am crossing
...

Closing the book, I find I have left my head
inside. It is dark in here, but the chapters open
their beautiful spaces and give a rustling sound,
words adjusting themselves to their meaning.
...

Over the local stations, one by one,
Announcers list disasters like dark poems
That always happen in the skull of winter.
But once again the storm has passed us by:
...

At Great Pond
the sun, rising,
scrapes his orange breast
on the thick pines,
...

Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly, saying,
...

Mary Oliver Biography

Mary Oliver (born September 10, 1935) is an American poet who has won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. The New York Times described her as "far and away, [America's] best-selling poet". Mary Oliver was born to Edward William and Helen M. V. Oliver on September 10, 1935, in Maple Heights, Ohio, a semi-rural suburb of Cleveland. Her father was a social studies teacher and an athletics coach in the Cleveland public schools. She began writing poetry at the age of 14, and at 17 visited the home of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, in Austerlitz, upper New York state. She and Norma, the poet's sister, became friends, and Oliver "more or less lived there for the next six or seven years, running around the 800 acres like a child, helping Norma, or at least being company to her," and assisting with organizing the late poet's papers.)

The Best Poem Of Mary Oliver

A Dream Of Trees

There is a thing in me that dreamed of trees,
A quiet house, some green and modest acres
A little way from every troubling town,
A little way from factories, schools, laments.
I would have time, I thought, and time to spare,
With only streams and birds for company.
To build out of my life a few wild stanzas.
And then it came to me, that so was death,
A little way away from everywhere.

There is a thing in me still dreams of trees,
But let it go. Homesick for moderation,
Half the world’s artists shrink or fall away.
If any find solution, let him tell it.
Meanwhile I bend my heart toward lamentation
Where, as the times implore our true involvement,
The blades of every crisis point the way.

I would it were not so, but so it is.
Who ever made music of a mild day?

Mary Oliver Comments

The Van Man 09 February 2018

slober slober slober slober

6 25 Reply
Olivia Leppard 12 June 2018

who is Mary Oliver? I NEED THIS FOR A SCHOOL ASSIGNMENT!

6 20 Reply
Tom Christofferson 30 May 2018

Looking for poem that begins with the line When death comes...

18 3 Reply
The Van Man 09 February 2018

Totally not a creep with a white van

2 19 Reply
Dorothea Sophia 20 July 2021

Mary Oliver's poetry is a god-send for me during Covid lockdown: she brings me back to earth in all its thereness beauty.

0 0 Reply
cbullard 18 April 2020

does anyone know the tittle of this poem? it is a serious thing just to be alive on this fresh morning in this broken world

0 0 Reply
Lee 05 May 2021

The name of the poem is 'Invitation'.

0 0
Audy Meadow Thistle 02 August 2019

Mary Oliver has a way of shaking us out of our cultural blindness to the natural world around us and startling us into seeing what has always been there but ignored. Her poems at best are powerful in that they include, not just a platitude of nature, but teeth and claws, the hunger, death and aliveness. Asking, how does this apply to your life?

3 0 Reply
oiuyt 16 May 2019

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0 2 Reply
Steve Kerns 25 April 2019

RIP. She certainly is one of the most important English language poets of the late 20th, early 21st century.

3 0 Reply

Mary Oliver Quotes

Poetry isn't a profession, it's a way of life. It's an empty basket; you put your life into it and make something out of that.

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