On Knowing Mary Oliver


“What misery to be afraid of death.
What wretchedness, to believe only in what can be proven.”

One of the comments I received on my post recording Mary Oliver’s death, was this one from Tokens of Companionship –

“This is a nice remembrance by a former student of hers:


How I wish I had known her other than through her writing. How lucky was this young woman to have been in one of her classes! How I envy her that!


“And that is just the point… how the world, moist and beautiful,
calls to each of us to make a new and serious response.
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?”


7 responses to “On Knowing Mary Oliver

  1. ‘a new and serious response’ every morning?
    Of course, Judith, I think this is what life is all about. 🙂


  2. D > Whoa – What’s this? Mary Oliver quoted in two blogs I follow on the same day?! I confess I’ve never heard of her – until now. …. [ Looks up Wikipedia – explores a few random poetic works] … And it looks like she’s someone I’ll be learning more about – very much my kind of poetry!

    Liked by 1 person

    • May Oliver has been a favourite poet of mine for many years. I have scattered her quotes throughout my blog posts since I started blogging way back in 2011. She often seemed to have the correct quote on whatever this ancient mind was blogging about.
      Thanks for your comment. I hope Mary Oliver will soon become a favourite for you as well.


  3. A few years ago at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, I took a poetry class to learn how to tighten my nonfiction writing. I told the class I didn’t enjoy poetry because I could never understand it. Several immediately told me about Mary Oliver, that her work was “accessible.” I’m glad they did!


  4. Interesting: ““Here you are, alive. Would you like to make a comment?””

    Sure, “I was shocked to learn what I now know and wonder why others don’t.”

    Liked by 1 person

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