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Pretty Song"

From the complications of loving you
I think there is no end or return.
No answer, no coming out of it.
Which is the only way to love, isn’t it?

This isn’t a play ground, this is
earth, our heaven, for a while.
Therefore I have given precedence
to all my sudden, sullen, dark moods

that hold you in the center of my world.
And I say to my body: grow thinner still.
And I say to my fingers, type me a pretty song.
And I say to my heart: rave on.


Mary Oliver

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More Mary Oliver

To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.
MARY OLIVER
Poetry is one of the ancient arts, and it began as did all the fine arts, within the original wilder...
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Walks work for me. I enter some arena that is neither conscious or unconscious.
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I consider myself kind of a reporter - one who uses words that are more like music and that have a c...
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There are a hundred paths through the world that are easier than loving. But, who wants easier?
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My first two books are out of print and, okay, they can sleep there comfortably. It's early work...
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I simply do not distinguish between work and play.
MARY OLIVER
So every day
I was surrounded by the beautiful crying forth
of the ideas of God,
one...
MARY OLIVER
I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and neve...
MARY OLIVER
I Go Down To The Shore

I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on...
MARY OLIVER
We all have a hungry heart, and one of the things we hunger for is happiness. So as much as I possib...
MARY OLIVER
If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty of live...
MARY OLIVER
Love, love, love, says Percy.
And hurry as fast as you can
along the shining beach, or the...
MARY OLIVER
Percy wakes me (fourteen)

Percy wakes me and I am not ready.
He has slept all night ...
MARY OLIVER
The sweetness of dogs (fifteen)

What do you say, Percy? I am thinking
of sitting ou...
MARY OLIVER
Love yourself. Then forget it.
Then, love the world.
MARY OLIVER
Praying

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lo...
MARY OLIVER
Apparently, I've been considered a recluse.
MARY OLIVER
I have a notebook with me all the time, and I begin scribbling a few words. When things are going we...
MARY OLIVER
Sometimes breaking the rules is extending the rules.
MARY OLIVER
I think one thing is that prayer has become more useful, interesting, fruitful, and... almost involu...
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When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom,...
MARY OLIVER
After a cruel childhood, one must reinvent oneself. Then reimagine the world.
MARY OLIVER
Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled—
to cast aside the wei...
MARY OLIVER
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell ...
MARY OLIVER
Of course! the path to heaven
doesn't lie down in flat miles.
It's in the imagination
MARY OLIVER
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green ...
MARY OLIVER
Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
a...
MARY OLIVER
Also I wanted to be able to love
And we all know how that one goes, don't we?
Slowly
MARY OLIVER
It is one of the perils of our so-called civilized age that we do not yet acknowledge enough, or che...
MARY OLIVER
to live in this world

you must be able
to do three things
to love what is morta...
MARY OLIVER
Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.
MARY OLIVER
The Uses Of Sorrow

(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)

Someone I loved on...
MARY OLIVER
Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, w...
MARY OLIVER
To live in this world, you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it again...
MARY OLIVER
Love Sorrow

Love sorrow. She is yours now, and you must
take care of what has...
MARY OLIVER
Writers sometimes give up what is most strange and wonderful about their writing - soften their roug...
MARY OLIVER
So this is how you swim inward. So this is how you flow outwards. So this is how you pray.
MARY OLIVER
As a child, what captivated me was reading the poems myself and realizing that there was a world wit...
MARY OLIVER
To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work
MARY OLIVER
When

When it’s over, it’s over, and we don’t know
any of us, what happens th...
MARY OLIVER
MARY OLIVER from the complications of loving you i think there is no end or return. no answer, no coming out of ...
MARY OLIVER
I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily...
MARY OLIVER
You can have the other words-chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity. I'll take grace. I don't know w...
MARY OLIVER
The sea can do craziness, it can do smooth, it can lie down like silk breathing or toss havoc shorew...
MARY OLIVER
I worked privately, and sometimes I feel that might be better for poets than the kind of social work...
MARY OLIVER
West Wind #2

You are young. So you know everything. You leap
into the boat and begi...
MARY OLIVER
How I go to the woods

Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single
...
MARY OLIVER
I stood willingly and gladly in the characters of everything - other people, trees, clouds. And this...
MARY OLIVER
You must never stop being whimsical.
MARY OLIVER
In your hands

The dog, the donkey, surely they know
They are alive.
Who would ...
MARY OLIVER
And then I feel the sun itself
as it blazes over the hills,
like a million flowers on fire...
MARY OLIVER
When it over, I want to say:all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a brideg...
MARY OLIVER
At Blackwater Pond

At Blackwater Pond the tossed waters have settled
after a...
MARY OLIVER
DAISIES

It is possible, I suppose that sometime
we will learn everything
there ...
MARY OLIVER
The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
thou...
MARY OLIVER
The woods that I loved as a child are entirely gone. The woods that I loved as a young adult are gon...
MARY OLIVER
To live in this world, you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it again...
MARY OLIVER
I have a notion that if you are going to be spiritually curious, you better not get cluttered up wit...
MARY OLIVER
You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility ...
MARY OLIVER
If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it.
MARY OLIVER
I want to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
...
MARY OLIVER
Wasn't it Emerson who said, 'My life is for itself and not for a spectacle'? I have a ha...
MARY OLIVER
But I want to extol not the sweetness nor the placidity of the dog, but the wilderness out of which ...
MARY OLIVER
I read Rumi, the 13th-century Persian poet, every day.
MARY OLIVER
When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the b...
MARY OLIVER
Ten times a day something happens to me like this - some strengthening throb of amazement - some goo...
MARY OLIVER
Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly, saying,
what joy
to come falling MARY OLIVER
You may not agree, you may not care, but
if you are holding this book you should know that of a...
MARY OLIVER
I do not live happily or comfortably
With the cleverness of our times.
The talk is all abo...
MARY OLIVER
Sometimes I need
only to stand
wherever I am
to be blessed.
MARY OLIVER
The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own ...
MARY OLIVER
It
learns quickly what sort of courtship it is going to be.
Say you promise to be at your ...
MARY OLIVER
You’re like a little wild thing
that was never sent to school.
MARY OLIVER
The world has need of dreamers as well as shoemakers.
MARY OLIVER
TIDES Every day the sea blue gray green lavender pulls away leaving the harbor’s dark-cobbled unde...
MARY OLIVER
...to be absent from the world
and alive, again, in another...
MARY OLIVER
I believe you did not have a happy life.
I believe you were cheated.
I believe your best f...
MARY OLIVER
And what has consciousness come to anyway, so far, that is better than these light-filled bodies?
MARY OLIVER
They stay in my mind, these beautiful people,
or anyway beautiful people to me, of which
t...
MARY OLIVER
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a b...
MARY OLIVER
And there you are
on the shore,

fitful and thoughtful, trying
to attach them ...
MARY OLIVER
Drive down any road,

take a train or an airplane
across the world, leave
your o...
MARY OLIVER
In Blackwater Woods

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
in...
MARY OLIVER
and anyway it’s just the same old story --
a few people just trying,
one way or another,...
MARY OLIVER
Poetry isn't a profession, it's a way of life. It's an empty basket; you put your life i...
MARY OLIVER
Animals praise a good day, a good hunt. They praise rain if they're thirsty. That's prayer. ...
MARY OLIVER
All night my heart makes its way
however it can over the rough ground
of uncertainties, bu...
MARY OLIVER
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
MARY OLIVER
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles thro...
MARY OLIVER
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept s...
MARY OLIVER
There were times over the years when life was not easy, but if you're working a few hours a day ...
MARY OLIVER
Always there is something worth saying
about glory, about gratitude.
MARY OLIVER
My work is the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird - equal seekers of sweetness. Here ...
MARY OLIVER
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which...
MARY OLIVER
Listen--are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?
MARY OLIVER
What can we dobut keep on breathing in and out,modest and willing, and in our places?
MARY OLIVER
New and Selected Poems: Volume Two
MARY OLIVER
I want to write something
so simply
about love
or about pain
that even
...
MARY OLIVER
What misery to be afraid of death.
What wretchedness, to believe only in what can be proven.
MARY OLIVER
But I also say this: that light is an invitation to happiness, and that happiness, when it's done ri...
MARY OLIVER
Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields...Watch, now, ho...
MARY OLIVER
Poetry is a life-cherishing force. For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes...
MARY OLIVER
It is better for the heart to break, than not to break.
MARY OLIVER
The challenge is to keep up with all the new poets at the same time I love the old ones.
MARY OLIVER
To find a new word that is accurate and different, you have to be alert for it.
MARY OLIVER
And now you'll be telling stories
of my coming back
and they won't be false, and they won'...
MARY OLIVER
The Uses of Sorrow
(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)
Someone I loved once gave me a box fu...
MARY OLIVER
As for life,
I'm humbled,
I'm without words
sufficient to say

how it has b...
MARY OLIVER
Oh Lord of melons, of mercy, though I am not ready, nor worthy, I am climbing towards you.
MARY OLIVER
The Poet With His Face In His Hands

You want to cry aloud for your
mistakes....
MARY OLIVER
I wanted the past to go away, I wanted
to leave it, like another country; I wanted
my li...
MARY OLIVER
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles thro...
MARY OLIVER
And I do not want anymore to be useful, to be docile, to lead / children out of the fields into the ...
MARY OLIVER
Now and again there's a moment,
when the heart cries aloud:
yes, I am willing to be
t...
MARY OLIVER
The water, that circle of shattered glass,
healed itself with a slow whisper
and lay back
MARY OLIVER
When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegr...
MARY OLIVER
Because of the dog's joyfulness, our own is increased. It is no small gift. It is not the least ...
MARY OLIVER
Every spring
I hear the thrush singing
in the glowing woods
he is only passing throug...
MARY OLIVER
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
MARY OLIVER
There is nothing better than work. Work is also play; children know that. Children play earnestly as...
MARY OLIVER
Every morning I walk like this around
the pond, thinking: if the doors of my heart ever close, ...
MARY OLIVER
So come to the pond,
or the river of your imagination,
or the harbor of your longing, MARY OLIVER
I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.
MARY OLIVER
Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.
MARY OLIVER
Tell me, what is it you plan to dowith your one wild and precious life?
MARY OLIVER
To tell you the truth, I believe everything - tigers, trees, stones - are sentient in one way or ano...
MARY OLIVER
I have a little dog who likes to nap with me.
He climbs on my body and puts his face in my neck...
MARY OLIVER
LITTLE DOGS RHAPSODY IN THE NIGHT
(PERCY THREE)

He puts his cheek against mine
...
MARY OLIVER
There are things you can’t reach. But
You can reach out to them, and all day long.

MARY OLIVER
We meet wonderful people, but lose them
in our busyness.
We’re, as the saying goes, al...
MARY OLIVER
When will you have a little pity for every soft thing that walks through the world, yourself include...
MARY OLIVER
The poet dreams of the classroom

I dreamed
I stood up in class
And I said aloud...
MARY OLIVER
I read the way a person might swim, to save his or her life. I wrote that way too.
MARY OLIVER
I worked probably 25 years by myself, just writing and working, not trying to publish much, not givi...
MARY OLIVER
That time
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
without dying

I wen...
MARY OLIVER
oxygen

Everything needs it: bone, muscles, and even,
while it calls the earth its ...
MARY OLIVER
And who do you
think you are sauntering along
five feet up in the air, the ocean a blue f...
MARY OLIVER
If I've done my work well, I vanish completely from the scene. I believe it is invasive of the w...
MARY OLIVER
Why I Wake Early

Hello, sun in my face.

Hello, you who made the morning
...
MARY OLIVER
You are young. So you know everything. You leap into the boat and begin rowing. But, listen to me. W...
MARY OLIVER
Come with me into the woods where spring is
advancing, as it does, no matter what,
not bei...
MARY OLIVER
I wanted the past to go away, I wanted
to leave it, like another country; I wanted
my life...
MARY OLIVER
Does the hummingbird think he himself invented his crimson throat?
He is wiser than that, I thi...
MARY OLIVER
All my life
I have been restless-
I have felt there is something
more wonderful than ...
MARY OLIVER
When I have to die, I would like to die
on a day of rain -
long rain, slow rain, the kind ...
MARY OLIVER
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
MARY OLIVER
When Death Comes

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when...
MARY OLIVER
I like working alone. I feel freer, less constrained. I know what I have to do and I try to do it. T...
OLIVER
I don't think any responsible performer would go on stage high. If he convinced himself he is better...
OLIVER
I wouldn't say I'm happy, but I look at things in a soft way. I try to convey more personal interact...
OLIVER
My job is to entertain people by playing my music well. You shouldn't really be upset because people...
OLIVER
I don't try to analyze my style now or I might lose it. Right now it's automatic and I don't want to...
OLIVER
I think some entertainers have been very irresponsible in their part in making drug use a fad among ...
OLIVER
Only a newspaper! Quick read, quick lost, Who sums the treasure that it carries hence? Torn, ...
MARY CLEMMER (MARY CLEMMER AMES)
The Indian Summer, the dead Summer's soul.
MARY CLEMMER (MARY CLEMMER AMES)
To serve thy generation, this thy fate: "Written in water," swiftly fades thy name; But he who...
MARY CLEMMER (MARY CLEMMER AMES)
Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there's a tomorrow. Maybe for you there's one thousand t...
LAUREN OLIVER
And then, just at that moment, when I'm no longer sure if I'm dreaming or awake or walking some vall...
LAUREN OLIVER
The State, in choosing men to serve it, takes no notice of their opinions. If they be willing faithf...
OLIVER CROMWELL
It seemed to me pretty plain, that they had more of love than matrimony in them.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
Modesty seldom resides in a breast that is not enriched with nobler virtues.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
Hope, like the gleaming taper
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
One of the joys of going to the movies was that it was trashy, and we should never lose that.
OLIVER STONE
Write how you want, the critic shall show the world you could have written better.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
Subtlety may deceive you; integrity never will.
OLIVER CROMWELL
Girls like to be played with, and rumpled a little too, sometimes.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
Good counsel rejected returns to enrich the givers bosom.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
No man rises so high as he knows not whither he goes.
OLIVER CROMWELL
He cast off his friends as a huntsman his pack, for he knew when he pleased he could whistle them ba...
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
Necessity has no law.
OLIVER CROMWELL
The pictures placed for ornament and use, The twelve good rules, the royal game of goose.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
In arguing, too, the parson own'd his skill, For even though vanquished he could argue still.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
There is nothing so absurd or ridiculous that has not at some time been said by some philosopher.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
Where'er I roam, whatever realms to see, My heart untravelled, fondly turns to thee; Still to ...
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
Man wants but little here below Nor wants that little long.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
The whitewash'd wall, the nicely sanded floor, The varnish'd clock that click'd behind the door; ...
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
Her modest looks the cottage might adorn, Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thorn.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
Thus 'tis with all; their chief and constant care Is to seem everything but what they are.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
This same philosophy is a good horse in the stable, but an arrant jade on a journey.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
Paint me as I am. If you leave out the scars and wrinkles, I will not pay you a shilling.
OLIVER CROMWELL
Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace the day's disasters in his morning face.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
Let schoolmasters puzzle their brain, With grammar, and nonsense, and learning; Good liquor, I...
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
Amid thy desert-walks the lapwing flies, And tires their echoes with unvaried cries.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
Every absurdity has a champion to defend it, for error is always talkative.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
Careless their merits or their faults to scan, His pity gave ere charity began.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
A few honest men are better than numbers.
OLIVER CROMWELL
Nature can do more than physicians.
OLIVER CROMWELL
Be not affronted at a joke. If one throw salt at thee, thou wilt receive no harm, unless thou art ra...
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
It's a great time to be doing political satire when the world is on a knife edge.
JOHN OLIVER
The End is Nigh!" the man shouted.
"Is there still time for hot chocolate?" Riley asked.
T...
JANA OLIVER
What cities, as great as this, have . . . promised themselves immortality! Posterity can hardly tr...
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
Let observation with observant view, Observe mankind from China to Peru.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH
Attending a Sarah Palin rally was simultaneously one of the strangest and most chilling events of my...
JOHN OLIVER
The popularity of leaders like Mandela was an invitation to counter-attack by the government. Mandel...
OLIVER TAMBO
I was provided with additional input that was radically different from the truth. I assisted in furt...
OLIVER NORTH
The apartheid system renounces no violence.
OLIVER TAMBO
It may be that apartheid brings such stupendous economic advantages to countries that they would soo...
OLIVER TAMBO
In any film there's always a historical implication.
OLIVER STONE