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Top 350 Mary Oliver Quotes (2023 Update)
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Mary Oliver Quote: “The man who has many answers is often found in the theaters of information where he offers, graciously, his deep findings. While the man who has only questions, to comfort himself, makes music.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “What misery to be afraid of death. What wretchedness, to believe only in what can be proven.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Far off in the red mangroves an alligator has heaved himself onto a hummock of grass and lies there, studying his poems.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “But I also say this: that light is an invitation to happiness, and that happiness, when it’s done right, is a kind of holiness, palpable and redemptive.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Look for verbs of muscle, adjectives of exactitude.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous to be understood. How grass can be nourishing in the mouths of the lambs. How rivers and stones are forever in allegiance with gravity while we ourselves dream of rising.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Maybe the desire to make something beautiful is the piece of God that is inside each of us.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “In college, you learn how to learn. Four years is not too much time to spend at that.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “When When it’s over, it’s over, and we don’t know any of us, what happens then. So I try not to miss anything. I think, in my whole life, I have never missed The full moon or the slipper of its coming back. Or, a kiss. Well, yes, especially a kiss.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “I held my breath as we do sometimes to stop time when something wonderful has touched us...”
Mary Oliver Quote: “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 Quote: “What does it mean, say the words, that the earth is so beautiful? And what shall I do about it? What is the gift that I should bring to the world? What is the life that I should live?”
Mary Oliver Quote: “There are lots of ways to dance and to spin, sometimes it just starts my feet first then my entire body, I am spinning no one can see it but it is happening. I am so glad to be alive, I am so glad to be loving and loved. Even if I were close to the finish, even if I were at my final breath, I would be here to take a stand, bereft of such astonishments, but for them. If I were a Sufi for sure I would be one of the spinning kind.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “The sea isn’t a place but a fact, and a mystery...”
Mary Oliver Quote: “If there is life after the earth-life, will you come with me? Even then? Since we’re bound to be something, why not together.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Oh, yesterday, that one, we all cry out. Oh, that one! How rich and possible everything was! How ripe, ready, lavish, and filled with excitement – how hopeful we were on those summer days, under the clean, white racing clouds. Oh, yesterday!”
Mary Oliver Quote: “As long as you’re dancing, you can break the rules.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “What we must do, I suppose, is to hope the world keeps its balance; what we are to do, however, with our hearts waiting and watching-truly I do not know.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “After a cruel childhood, one must reinvent oneself. Then reimagine the world.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Rhythm is one of the most powerful of pleasures, and when we feel a pleasurable rhythm we hope it will continue. When it does, it grows sweeter.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Every word is a messenger. Some have wings; some are filled with fire; some are filled with death.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Things! Burn them, burn them! Make a beautiful fire! More room in your heart for love, for the trees! For the birds who own nothing – the reason they can fly.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Poetry isn’t a profession, it’s a way of life. It’s an empty basket; you put your life into it and make something out of that.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “But how did you come burning down like a wild needle, knowing just where my heart was?”
Mary Oliver Quote: “May I be the tiniest nail in the house of the universe, tiny but useful.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Be good-natured and untidy in your exuberance.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Oh, to love what is lovely, and will not last! What a task to ask of anything, or anyone, yet it is ours, and not by the century or the year, but by the hours.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “My work is the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird – equal seekers of sweetness. Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums...”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Isn’t it wonderful the way the world holds both the deeply serious, and the unexpectedly mirthful?”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “We can know a lot. And still, no doubt, there are rash and wonderful ideas brewing somewhere; there are many surprises yet to come.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Today again I am hardly myself. It happens over and over.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “There is nothing more pathetic than caution when headlong might save a life, even, possibly, your own.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “The three ingredients of poetry: the mystery of the universe, spiritual curiosity, the energy of language.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Today I’m flying low and I’m not saying a word. I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep. The world goes on as it must, the bees in the garden rumbling a little, the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten. And so forth. But I’m taking the day off. Quiet as a feather. I hardly move though really I’m traveling a terrific distance. Stillness. One of the doors into the temple.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “And who will care, who will chide you if you wander away from wherever you are, to look for your soul?”
Mary Oliver Quote: “A dog can never tell you what she knows from the smells of the world, but you know, watching her, that you know almost nothing.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “The end of life has its own nature, also worth our attention.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “If you are in the garden, I will dress myself in leaves. If you are in the sea I will slide into that smooth blue nest, I will talk fish, I will adore salt. But if you are sad, I will not dress myself in desolation. I will present myself with all the laughters I can muster. And if you are angry I will come, calm and steady, with some small and easy story.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “How shall I touch you unless it is everywhere?”
Mary Oliver Quote: “The subjects that stir the heart are not so many, after all, and they do not change.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “What will you do with your one precious, wild life?”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Almost anything is too much. I am trying in my poems to have the reader be the experiencer. I do not want to be there. It is not even a walk we take together.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “I feel the terror of idleness, like a red thirst. Death isn’t just an idea.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “One thing I do know is that poetry, to be understood, must be clear.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “I worked probably 25 years by myself, just writing and working, not trying to publish much, not giving readings.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Listen, the heart-shackles are not, as you think, death, illness, pain, unrequited hope, not loneliness, but lassitude, rue, vainglory, fear, anxiety, selfishness.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “People want poetry. They need poetry. They get it. They don’t want fancy work.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Walks work for me. I enter some arena that is neither conscious or unconscious.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “What can we do about God, who makes and then breaks every god-forsaken, beautiful day?”
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