About Mary Oliver:
Mary Jane Oliver was an American Poet who was well-known for her creative work and won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.
She was born in a middle-class family on September 10, 1935, her mother was Helen M, and father was Edward William. Her father was an educator of sociology and athletics coach in different institutions in Cleveland. Growing up in a semi-rural suburb really affect her life in a really good way. She spent most of her childhood writing, reading, and walking around the woods, which grew her interest in nature and become a major part of her life as a great poet.
Oliver’s interest in writing began at a young age, she started writing when she was only 14 years old. She completed her High School Education in the local high school of Maple Heights. at the age of 17, because of her undying interest in poetry, she got the chance to visit the house of late Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, Where she met Norma, the younger sister of the late poet and later on became friends with her. They spent almost 7 years together at estate organizing late-poet Edna St. Vincent Millay’s papers.
In the mid-1950s, Oliver studied at Ohio State University and Vassar College, but she didn’t complete her study with either of college.
Oliver is famous for her poems and poetry about the natural world. Most of her work is about deeper themes like gratitude, love, and survival.
Oliver wrote her first collection of the poem when she was 28 years old, the first collection was named No Voyage and Other Poems published in 1963. She also worked as a teacher at Case Western Reserve University, in the early 1980s. But her profession didn’t stop her from doing her creative work. Finally, In 1984, she got her first big break and people started to recognize her talent when her fifth collection of poetry, won the Pulitzer Prize. Later she received the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award and also National Book Award. And in 2007, she was described as “far and away, this country’s best-selling poet.” By the New York Times.
Oliver was diagnosed with lung cancer, in 2012, but later she got treated and was given a “clean bill of health”, but on January 17, 2019, at the age of 83 she died of lymphoma at her home in Florida.
The Best Mary Oliver Quotes
Mary Oliver is well-known for her quotes which encourage people to live freely. Many aspects of her life influenced her creative work, which continues to inspire poetry lovers to this day.
1. Love yourself. Then forget it. Then, love the world.
2. Keep some room in your heart for the Unimaginable.
3. I simply do not distinguish between work and play.
4. 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/ love what it loves.
5. I tell you this/ to break your heart, /by which I mean only/ that it break open and never close again/ to the rest of the world.
6. The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising and gave to it neither power nor time.
7. Still, what I want in my life is to be willing to be dazzled—to cast aside the weight of facts and maybe even to float a little above this difficult world.
8. But I also say this: that light is an invitation to happiness, and that happiness, when it’s done right, is a kind of holiness, palpable and redemptive.
9. I believe in kindness. Also in mischief.
10. maybe death isn’t darkness, after all, but so much light wrapping itself around us.
11. Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.
12. You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life.
13. To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.
14. I held my breath as we do sometimes to stop time when something wonderful has touched us…
15. Also, I wanted to be able to love And we all know how that one goes, don’t we? Slowly.
16. 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.
17. To live in this world, you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.
18. I decided very early that I wanted to write. But I didn’t think of it as a career. I didn’t even think of it as a profession… It was the most exciting thing, the most powerful thing, the most wonderful thing to do with my life.
19. You have to be in the world to understand what the spiritual is about, and you have to be spiritual in order to truly be able to accept what the world is about.
20. I’m going to die one day. I know it’s coming for me, too. I’ll be a mountain, I’ll be a stone on the beach. I’ll be nourishment.