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.
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
When death comes like the hungry bear in autumn; when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
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
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
She steps into the dark swamp where the long wait ends. The secret slippery package
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
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
A Letter From Home
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,
Okay, not one can write a symphony, or a dictionary, or even a letter to an old friend, full of remembrance and comfort.
Oh, to love what is lovely, and will not last!
What a task
of anything, or anyone,
yet it is ours,
and not by the century or the year, but by the hours.
One fall day I heard
above me, and above the sting of the wind, a sound
I did not know, and my look shot upward; it was