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Mary Oliver Quotes & Sayings
21 entries tagged including 4 subtopics.
Last updated May 2022
Mary Oliver Topics
This is the first, wildest, and wisest thing I know, that the soul exists, and that it is built entirely out of attention.
To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work
Writers sometimes give up what is most strange and wonderful about their writing - soften their roughest edges - to accommodate themselves toward a group response.
When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.
So this is how you swim inward. So this is how you flow outwards. So this is how you pray.
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.
My first two books are out of print and, okay, they can sleep there comfortably. It's early work, derivative work.
In college, you learn how to learn. Four years is not too much time to spend at that.
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.
I worked probably 25 years by myself, just writing and working, not trying to publish much, not giving readings.
I was very careful never to take an interesting job. If you have an interesting job, you get interested in it.
I simply do not distinguish between work and play.
I love the line of Flaubert about observing things very intensely. I think our duty as writers begins not with our own feelings, but with the powers of observing.
I have a notion that if you are going to be spiritually curious, you better not get cluttered up with too many material things.
I have a notebook with me all the time, and I begin scribbling a few words. When things are going well, the walk does not get anywhere; I finally just stop and write.
As a child, what captivated me was reading the poems myself and realizing that there was a world without material substance which was nevertheless as alive as any other.
Almost anything is too much. I am trying in my poems to have the reader be the experiencer. I do not want to be there. It is not even a walk we take together.
Love is a lot like dancing-you just surrender to the music.
Love is when two people know everything about eachother and are still friends.
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