Mary Oliver Quotes
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You are young. So you know everything. You leap into the boat and begin rowing. But, listen to me. Without fanfare, without embarrassment, without doubt, I talk directly to your soul. Listen to me.
Poetry is a life-cherishing force. For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.
The man who has many answersis often foundin the theaters of informationwhere he offers, graciously, his deep findings.While the man who has only questions, to comfort himself, makes music.
So come to the pond, or the river of your imagination, or the harbor of your longing, and put your lips to the world.And live your life.
We all have a hungry heart, and one of the things we hunger for is happiness. So as much as I possibly could, I stayed where I was happy.
Let me keep my distance, always, from those who think they have the answers.Let me keep company always with those who say "Look!" and laugh in astonishment, and bow their heads.
I would like people to remember of me, howinexhaustible was her mindfulness.
To interrupt the writer from the line of thought is to wake the dreamer from the dream. The dreamer cannot enter that dream, precisely as it was unfolding, ever again.
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.
You do not have to be good.You do not have to walk on your kneesfor a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.
Look, hasn't my body already felt like the body of a flower?
Love, love, love, says Percy.And hurry as fast as you canalong the shining beach, or the rubble, or the dust.Then, go to sleep.Give up your body heat, your beating heart.Then, trust.
Be prepared. A dog is adorable and noble.A dog is a true and loving friend. A dogis also a hedonist.
It is better for the heart to break, than not to break.
the stars began to burnthrough the sheets of clouds, and there was a new voicewhich you slowlyrecognized as your own
Though I play at the edges of knowing, truly I know our part is not knowing, but looking, and touching, and loving
I have a little dog who likes to nap with me.He climbs on my body and puts his face in my neck.He is sweeter than soap.He is more wonderful than a diamond necklace, which can't even bark...
Attention is the beginning of devotion.
I stood like Adam in his lonely gardenOn that first morning, shaken out of sleep, Rubbing his eyes, listening, parting the leaves, Like tissue on some vast, incredible gift.
One thing I do know is that poetry, to be understood, must be clear.
People want poetry. They need poetry. They get it. They don't want fancy work.
Poetry is meant to be heard.
I know many lives worth living.
Sometimes breaking the rules is just extending the rules
You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life.
Poetry is a life-cherishing force.
It's not a competition, it's a doorway.
Poetry is one of the ancient arts, and it began as did all the fine arts, within the original wilderness of the earth.
Of course! the path to heavendoesn't lie down in flat miles.It's in the imaginationwith which you perceive this world, and the gestureswith which you honor it.-from The Swan
Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.
Winter walks up and down the town swinging his censer, but no smoke or sweetness comes from it, only the sour, metallic frankness of salt and snow.
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
Oh Lord of melons, of mercy, though I am not ready, nor worthy, I am climbing towards you.
Things take the time they take.Don't worry.How many roads did St. Augustine follow before he became St. Augustine?
I could not be a poet without the natural world. Someone else could. But not me. For me the door to the woods is the door to the temple.
And now you'll be telling storiesof my coming backand they won't be false, and they won't be truebut they'll be real
Imagination is better than a sharp instrument. To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.
It does no good to bark at the television, I said. I’ve tried it too. So he stopped.
Come with me into the woods where spring isadvancing, as it does, no matter what, not being singular or particular, but oneof the forever gifts, and certainly visible.
Listen, whatever you see and love—that’s where you are.
It's very important to write things down instantly, or you can lose the way you were thinking out a line. I have a rule that if I wake up at 3 in the morning and think of something, I write it down.
I feel the terror of idleness, like a red thirst.Death isn't just an idea.
After a cruel childhood, one must reinvent oneself. Then reimagine the world.
I want to think again of dangerous and noble things. I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings.
How perfect to be aboard a ship withmaybe a hundred years still in my pocket.But it's late, for all of us, and in truth the only ship there isis the ship we are all onburning the world as we go.
I read the way a person might swim, to save his or her life. I wrote that way too.
Still, what I want in my lifeis to be willingto be dazzled—to cast aside the weight of factsand maybe evento float a littleabove this difficult world.
Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.
Do you think the wren ever dreams of a better house?