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98 Mary Oliver Quotes To Refresh You

Famous As: Poet, Writer
Born On: 1935
Born In: Maple Heights
Age: 88 Years

Mary Oliver is a famous American poet and non-fiction author, who won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for her work “American Primitive” and “House of Light” respectively. According to the New York Times, she is “far and away, country’s best selling poet”. Her work is largely based on nature and beauty, while trying to depict the appreciation for the charms of the environment which creates joy and introspection among the readers. Her theme of writing is directed towards the simple things in life which can generate euphoria that people usually ignore to appreciate in pursuit of larger materialistic objects. Through her words, she has vividly described the true picturesque scenes which glorify the beauty of Mother Earth. We have curated some of Mary Oliver’s quotes and sayings from her books, poems and life on books, children, Earth, gratitude, heaven, love, joy, inspiration, morning, nature, poetry, rain, soul, spring, summer, teachers, universe etc. Zoom through these inspirational quotes from one of the greatest poets in our generation and perhaps gain a few admirations for this gift of god called nature.

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Tell me, what is it you plan to do 
with your one wild and precious life?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver
Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.

Mary Oliver
Instructions for living a life. 
Pay attention. 
Be astonished. 
Tell about it.

Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.

Mary Oliver
Listen--are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?

Listen--are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?

Mary Oliver
I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.

I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.

Mary Oliver
You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life.

You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life.

Mary Oliver
Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.

Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.

Mary Oliver
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.

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.

Mary Oliver
Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields...Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.

Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields...Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.

Mary Oliver
I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world.

I tell you this to break your heart, by which I mean only that it break open and never close again to the rest of the world.

Mary Oliver
Sometimes I need
only to stand
wherever I am 
to be blessed.

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 creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.

The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.

Mary Oliver
You can have the other words-chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity. I'll take grace. I don't know what it is exactly, but I'll take it.

You can have the other words-chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity. I'll take grace. I don't know what it is exactly, but I'll take it.

Mary Oliver
Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled—
to cast aside the weight of facts

and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.

Still, what I want in my life is to be willing to be dazzled— to cast aside the weight of facts and maybe even to float a little above this difficult world.

Mary Oliver
To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.

To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.

Mary Oliver
The Uses Of Sorrow

(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.

The Uses Of Sorrow (In my sleep I dreamed this poem) Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.

Mary Oliver
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.

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.

Mary Oliver
Love yourself. Then forget it.
Then, love the world.

Love yourself. Then forget it. Then, love the world.

Mary Oliver
I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

Mary Oliver
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do With your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver
It is better for the heart to break, than not to break.

It is better for the heart to break, than not to break.

Mary Oliver

"Snow was falling, so much like stars filling the dark trees that one could easily imagine its reason for being was nothing more than prettiness.

Mary Oliver
When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement.

--from WHEN DEATH COMES

When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. --from WHEN DEATH COMES

Mary Oliver
I read the way a person might swim, to save his or her life. I wrote that way too.

I read the way a person might swim, to save his or her life. I wrote that way too.

Mary Oliver
So every day
I was surrounded by the beautiful crying forth 
of the ideas of God,
one of which was you.

So every day I was surrounded by the beautiful crying forth of the ideas of God, one of which was you.

Mary Oliver
Maybe death
isn't darkness, after all,
but so much light
wrapping itself around us--

Maybe death isn't darkness, after all, but so much light wrapping itself around us--

Mary Oliver
He is exactly the poem I wanted to write.

He is exactly the poem I wanted to write.

Mary Oliver
Said the river: imagine everything you can imagine, then keep on going.

Said the river: imagine everything you can imagine, then keep on going.

Mary Oliver
It is a serious thing // just to be alive / on this fresh morning / in this broken world.

It is a serious thing // just to be alive / on this fresh morning / in this broken world.

Mary Oliver
The stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own

The stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own

Mary Oliver