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Top 350 Mary Oliver Quotes (2023 Update)
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Mary Oliver Quote: “Sing, if you can sing, and it not still be musical inside yourself.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “I walk in the world to love it.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “If you notice anything, it leads you to notice more and more.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Education as I knew it was made up of such a preestablished collection of certainties. Knowledge has entertained me and it has shaped me and it has failed me. Something in me still starves.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “When it’s over I don’t want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real...”
Mary Oliver Quote: “When I woke the morning light was just slipping in front of the stars and I was covered with blossoms.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “You have to be in the world to understand what the spiritual is about, and you have to be spiritual in order to truly be able to accept what the world is about.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Have I experienced happiness with sufficient gratitude? Have I endured loneliness with grace?”
Mary Oliver Quote: “I had to go away for a few days so I called the kennel and made an appointment. I guess Bear overheard the conversation. “Love and company,” said Bear, “are the adornments that change everything. I know they’ll be nice to me, but I’ll be sad, sad, sad.” And pitifully he wrung his paws. I cancelled the trip.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Emerson, I am trying to live, as you said we must, the examined life. But there are days I wish there was less in my head to examine, not to speak of the busy heart.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “I believe everything has a soul.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “What I have done is learn to love and learn to be loved. That didn’t come easy.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “A Voice from I Don’t Know Where.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Song of the Builders On a summer morning I sat down on a hillside to think about God – a worthy pastime. Near me, I saw a single cricket; it was moving the grains of the hillside this way and that way. How great was its energy, how humble its effort. Let us hope it will always be like this, each of us going on in our inexplicable ways building the universe.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “With words, I could build a world I could live in. I had a very dysfunctional family, and a very hard childhood. So I made a world out of words. And it was my salvation.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “I learned from Whitman that the poem is a temple – or a green field – a place to enter, and in which to feel.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “And now you’ll be telling stories of my coming back and they won’t be false, and they won’t be true but they’ll be real.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “ON THE BEACH On the beach, at dawn: four small stones clearly hugging each other. How many kinds of love might there be in the world, and how many formations might they make and who am I ever to imagine I could know such a marvelous business? When the sun broke it poured willingly its light over the stones that did not move, not at all, just as, to its always generous term, it shed its light on me, my own body that loves, equally, to hug another body.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “I know many lives worth living.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Oh, feed me this day, Holy Spirit, with the fragrance of the fields and the freshness of the oceans which you have made, and help me to hear and to hold in all dearness those exacting and wonderful words of our Lord Christ Jesus, saying: Follow me.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Who knows what will happen or where I will be sent, yet already I have given a great many things away, expecting to be told to pack nothing, except the prayers which, with this thirst, I am slowly learning.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Or maybe it’s about the wonderful things that may happen if you break the ropes that are holding you.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Yes, a person wants to stand in a happy place, in a poem. But first we must watch her as she stares down at her labor, which is dull enough.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Oh, I would like to live in an empty house, with vines for walls, and a carpet of grass. No planks, no plastic, no fiberglass.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “I know I can walk through the world, along the shore or under the trees, with my mind filled with things of little importance, in full self-attendance. A condition I can’t really call being alive.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “A dog is adorable and noble, a dog is a true and loving friend. A dog is also a hedonist.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life? While the soul, after all, is only a window, and the opening of the window no more difficult than the wakening from a little sleep.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “And I thought: I shall remember this all my life. The peril, the running, the howling of the dogs, the smothering. Then the happiness – of action, of leaping. Then the green sweetness of distance. And the trees: their thickness and their compassion, all around.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “I am so vast, uncertain and strange.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “That’s the big question, the one the world throws at you every morning. “Here you are, alive. Would you like to make a comment?”
Mary Oliver Quote: “And it can keep you as busy as anything else, and happier.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “On the windless days, when the maples have put forth their deep canopies, and the sky is wearing its new blue immensities, and the wind has dusted itself not an hour ago in some spicy field and hardly touches us as it passes by, what is it we do? We lie down and rest upon the generous earth. Very likely we fall asleep.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Because of the dog’s joyfulness, our own is increased. It is no small gift. It is not the least reason why we should honor as well as love the dog of our own life, and the dog down the street, and all the dogs not yet born. What would the world be like without music or rivers or the green and tender grass? What would this world be like without dogs?”
Mary Oliver Quote: “There are moments that cry out to be fulfilled. Like, telling someone you love them. Or giving your money away, all of it. Your heart is beating, isn’t it? You’re not in chains, are you? There is nothing more pathetic than caution when headlong might save a life, even, possibly, your own.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “I am, myself, three selves at least. To begin with, there is the child I was. Certainly I am not that child anymore! Yet, distantly, or sometimes not so distantly, I can hear that child’s voice – I can feel its hope, or its distress. It has not vanished. Powerful, egotistical, insinuating – its presence rises, in memory, or from the steamy river of dreams. It is not gone, not by a long shot. It is with me in the present hour. It will be with me in the grave.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Especially when writers are just starting out, the emphasis should be not only upon what they write, but equally upon the process of writing. A successful class is a class where no one feels that ‘writer’s block’ is a high-priority subject.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “A carpenter is hired- a roof repaired, a porch built. Everything that can be fixed. June, July, August. Everyday we hear their laughter. I think of the painting by van Gogh, the man in the chair. Everything wrong, and nowhere to go. His hands over his eyes.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “I don’t know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Athletes take care of their bodies. Writers must similarly take care of the sensibility that houses the possibility of the poems. There is nourishment in books, other art, history, philosophies – in holiness and mirth.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “I don’t want to live a small life. Open your eyes... open your life, open your hands.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “I want to be braver and more honest about my life. When you’re sexually abused, there’s a lot of damage.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “I am one of those who has no trouble imagining the sentient lives of trees, of their leaves in some fashion communicating or of the massy trunks and heavy branches knowing it is I who have come, as I always come, each morning, to walk beneath them, glad to be alive and glad to be there.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “How blue is the sea, how blue is the sky, how blue and tiny and redeemable everything is, even you, even your eyes, even your imagination. The Soul at Last The Lord’s terrifying kindness has come to me. It was only a small silvery thing – say a piece of silver cloth, or a thousand spider webs woven together, or a small handful of aspen leaves, with their silver backs shimmering. And.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “For the birds who own nothing – the reason they can fly.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Writers sometimes give up what is most strange and wonderful about their writing – soften their roughest edges – to accommodate themselves toward a group response.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “I have a little dog who likes to nap with me. He climbs on my body and puts his face in my neck. He is sweeter than soap. He is more wonderful than a diamond necklace, which can’t even bark...”
Mary Oliver Quote: “On poetry: Everyone wants to know what it means. But nobody is asking, How does it feel?”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Winter walks up and down the town swinging his censer, but no smoke or sweetness comes from it, only the sour, metallic frankness of salt and snow.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Congratulations, if you have changed.”
Mary Oliver Quote: “Every night the owl with his wild monkey-face calls through the black branches, and the mice freeze and the rabbits shiver in the snowy fields – and then there is the long, deep trough of silence when he stops singing, and steps into the air.”
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