Thursday 17 January 2019

Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver died today.   I have read and enjoyed several of her poems through the years and I thought I'd include one here, today.

“...I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”

Mary Oliver, poet 

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver dies at 83

"In my outward appearance and life habits I hardly change — there's never been a day that my friends haven't been able to say, and at a distance, 'There's Oliver, still standing around in the weeds. There she is, still scribbling in her notebook,'" Oliver wrote in "Long Life," a book of essays published in 2004.
"But, at the center: I am shaking; I am flashing like tinsel."
Like her hero Walt Whitman, whom she would call the brother she never had, Oliver didn't only observe mushrooms growing in a rainstorm or an owl calling from a black branch; she longed to know and become one with what she saw. She might be awed by the singing of goldfinches or, as in the poem "White Flowers," overcome by a long nap in a field.

Rest in Peace, Mary Oliver


  1. I am sorry to say I've never heard of Mary Oliver. That's bad on my part seeing as she was a Pulitzer prize winner. I enjoyed reading her poem. Good Bye Mary Oliver.

  2. Lots of posts and comments about Mary Oliver on Facebook today. I was not a devotee of her poetry, but the bits nd pieces I have read today are lovely.

  3. I've never heard of Mary Oliver, but from what you have written, would love her and what she writes about.

  4. I was not aware of this poet, but now at her death, several friends have said how they love her work. Thank you for sharing!

  5. I've not read anything by Mary Oliver. I will have to check that out. She sounds just like my kind of person. :)

  6. I don't think I'd seen the whole poem in which that last line appears, which is more commonly quoted. But I like the first part of the poem best! Fall down, kneel down, yes!

    Thank you.