Mary Oliver Quotes

My grandmother stood among her kettles and ladles. Smiling, in faulty grammar, She praised my fortune and urged my lofty career. So to please her I studied—but I will remember always How she poured confusion out, how she cooled and labeled All the wild sauces of the brimming year.
Mary Oliver (b. 1935), U.S. poet. "Answers," lines 11-16 (1972).
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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 (b. 1935), U.S. poet. Georgia Review, p. 733 (Winter 1981).
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the hatchlings wake in the swaying branches, in the silver baskets, and love the world. Is it necessary to say any more? Have you heard them singing in the wind, above the final fields? Have you ever been so happy in your life?
Mary Oliver (b. 1935), U.S. poet. "Goldfinches," lines 31-36 (c. 1991).
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All my life I have been restless— I have felt there is something more wonderful than gloss— than wholeness— than staying at home.
Mary Oliver (b. 1935), U.S. poet. "Whelks," lines 12-17 (c. 1991).
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