Thursday, September 10, 2015

Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver September 10, 1935 
Mary Oliver is an American Pulitzer Prize winning poet and essayist. Oliver’s poetry is grounded in memories of Ohio and her adopted home of New England. Influenced by both Whitman and Thoreau, she is known for her clear and poignant observances of the natural world. Her poems are filled with imagery from her daily walks near her home in Provincetown, Massachusetts: shore birds, water snakes, the phases of the moon and humpback whales. Oliver is an avid walker, pursuing inspiration on foot. For Oliver, walking and discovering is part of the poetic process.

Violets
by Mary Oliver (August 26, 2009)

Down by the rumbling creek and the tall trees --
where I went truant from school three days a week
and therefore broke the record --
there were violets as easy in their lives
as anything you have ever seen
or leaned down to intake the sweet breath of.
Later, when the necessary houses were built
they were gone, and who would give significance
to their absence.
Oh, violets, you did signify, and what shall take
your place?

Oliver’s most recent book of poems, Felicity (2015), will be published in October.
She said: "I've always wanted to write poems and nothing else. There were times over the years when life was not easy, but if you're working a few hours a day and you've got a good book to read, and you can go outside to the beach and dig for clams, you're okay."

To read more about her life go to Mary Oliver at Writers Almanac. 


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