mary oliver Quotes

I'd rather write about polar bears than people.
tags: people write
— Mary Oliver
The woods that I loved as a child are entirely gone. The woods that I loved as a young adult are gone. The woods that most recently I walked in are not gone, but they're full of bicycle trails.
tags: children young adult child gone
— Mary Oliver
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.
tags: die
— Mary Oliver
There is nothing better than work. Work is also play; children know that. Children play earnestly as if it were work. But people grow up, and they work with a sorrow upon them. It's duty.
tags: children people work sorrow child
— Mary Oliver
You can fool a lot of yourself but you can't fool the soul.
tags: soul fools
— Mary Oliver
Words have not only a definition... but also the felt quality of their own kind of sound.
tags: quality definition
— Mary Oliver
Instead of taking the reader by the hand and running him down the hill, I want to lead him into a house of many rooms, and leave him alone in each of them.
tags: alone running
— Mary Oliver
I would rather write poems than prose, any day, any place. Yet each has its own force.
tags: write poem
— Mary Oliver
I grew up in a confused house: too much unwanted attention or none at all.
tags: attention
— Mary Oliver
Wasn't it Emerson who said, 'My life is for itself and not for a spectacle'? I have a happy, full, good life because I hold it private.
— Mary Oliver
Writers must... take care of the sensibility that houses the possibility of poems.
tags: care possibility poem
— Mary Oliver
Sometimes breaking the rules is extending the rules.
tags: rules
— Mary Oliver
I always feel that whatever isn't necessary shouldn't be in a poem.
tags: poem
— Mary Oliver
I have the feeling that a lot of poets writing now are - they sort of tap dance through it.
tags: writing poet dance
— Mary Oliver
Apparently, I've been considered a recluse.
— Mary Oliver
My parents didn't care very much what I did, and that was probably a blessing.
tags: blessing care parent
— Mary Oliver
Poetry is meant to be heard.
tags: poetry
— Mary Oliver
To tell you the truth, I believe everything - tigers, trees, stones - are sentient in one way or another. You'd never catch me idly kicking a stone, for example.
tags: truth believe example
— Mary Oliver
Animals praise a good day, a good hunt. They praise rain if they're thirsty. That's prayer. They don't live an unconscious life, they simply have no language to talk about these things. But they are grateful for the good things that come along.
tags: animals live language praise rain prayer
— Mary Oliver
I learn a lot about my poems when I read them by the way people respond to them.
tags: people learn poem read
— Mary Oliver
At the time I was growing up, literature was involved with the so-called confessional poets. And I was not interested in that. I did not think that specific and personal perspective functioned well for the reader at all.
tags: time personal literature poet perspective
— Mary Oliver
Believe me, if anybody has a job and starts at 9, there's no reason why they can't get up at 4:30 or five and write for a couple of hours, and give their employers their second-best effort of the day - which is what I did.
tags: believe job write
— Mary Oliver
I know the sag of the unfinished poem. And I know the release of the poem that is finished.
tags: poem
— Mary Oliver
I like books that are fat and full.
tags: book
— Mary Oliver
The challenge is to keep up with all the new poets at the same time I love the old ones.
tags: time challenge poet
— Mary Oliver
I read Rumi, the 13th-century Persian poet, every day.
tags: read poet
— Mary Oliver
I went to India and was quite taken with it. There's a feeling there that things are holy first and useful second.
tags: holy india
— Mary Oliver
Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.
tags: heart
— Mary Oliver
I held my breath as we do sometimes to stop time when something wonderful has touched us...
tags: time
— Mary Oliver
Look, I want to love this world as though it's the last chance I'm ever going to get to be alive and know it.
tags: chance world
— Mary Oliver
Maybe the world, without us, is the real poem.
tags: world real poem
— Mary Oliver
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.
tags: time live world knowing
— Mary Oliver
You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life.
tags: responsibility
— Mary Oliver
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.
tags: animals body
— Mary Oliver
One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began....
— Mary Oliver
We need beauty because it makes us ache to be worthy of it.
tags: beauty
— Mary Oliver
I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.
tags: kindness believe
— Mary Oliver
I don't ask for the sights in front of me to change, only the depth of my seeing.
tags: seeing
— Mary Oliver
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. (from "Mysteries, Yes")
tags: company
— Mary Oliver
Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.
tags: living attention
— Mary Oliver
mary oliver
Birth    : September 10, 1935
Occupation  : Poet