Mary Oliver

Two Mary Oliver quotes from my notebooks, on the day of her passing.  It is sad because her vision of the natural world was extraordinary and powerful, and there will be no more poems from her, and in this spiritually caustic and destitute time we need our elder poets more than ever. They know what is holy and speak its truth.


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.


“It was merely a moment.
The sun, angling out from the bunched clouds,
cast one could easily imagine tenderly
over the landscape its extraordinary light.”