Biography of Mary Oliver
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.
Mary Oliver Poems
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.
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
My father, for example, who was young once and blue-eyed, returns
One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting
When Death Comes
When death comes like the hungry bear in autumn; when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
Some kind of relaxed and beautiful thing kept flickering in with the tide and looking around. Black as a fisherman's boot,
When the blackberries hang swollen in the woods, in the brambles nobody owns, I spend
At Blackwater Pond
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
Okay, not one can write a symphony, or a dictionary, or even a letter to an old friend, full of remembrance and comfort.
The Summer Day
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
Another year gone, leaving everywhere its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves, the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
After Arguing Against The Contention Tha...
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
Beyond The Snow Belt
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:
I have been thinking
like the lilies
that blow in the fields.
They rise and fall
in the edge of the wind,
and have no shelter
from the tongues of the cattle,