Honouring the Life of Mary Oliver

18 Jan

I’ve posted a couple of Mary Oliver’s poems before.  I was sorry to hear of her death yesterday.

Mary Oliver

This next poem, Mindful, delights me in that it sums up what I try to do every day.

I see or hear
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for —
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world —
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant —
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these —
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

“Mindful” by Mary Oliver from Why I Wake Early. © Beacon Press, 2005

This is a very good question for us each to ask ourselves.

Your one and precious life

You might like to look up this website to read more of her poems.


Posted by on January 18, 2019 in poetry, Postaday 2019


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14 responses to “Honouring the Life of Mary Oliver

  1. valeriedavies

    February 2, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    I love these two of her poems. But I also love them all. What a beautiful soul …may your wild and precious life be good this year, dear Sally…

    • mybeautfulthings

      February 3, 2019 at 8:12 am

      How lovely to hear from you! Thank you for those special wishes. I wish the same for you too.

  2. maureenjenner

    January 19, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    Reblogged this on Musings of a Penpusher and commented:
    Sometimes you come across something so beautiful, you are compelled to take a second look.

    • mybeautfulthings

      January 20, 2019 at 8:23 am

      Thank you. It’s good that Mary Oliver’s beautiful poems are shared as much as possible. 🙂

  3. Suzy Shipman

    January 19, 2019 at 10:13 am

    Why didn’t I know about her before?! Thank you for sharing her beautiful words.

    • mybeautfulthings

      January 19, 2019 at 11:43 am

      There are so many beautiful poems, deceptively simple and very touching. I love her work and am happy to have introduced her work to you. 🙂

  4. germac4

    January 19, 2019 at 12:21 am

    I love Mary Oliver’s poems & thank you for Mindful … I had missed that one & will add it to my collection. We are lucky to have her poetry…💕

    • mybeautfulthings

      January 19, 2019 at 8:19 am

      We are. There are so many that I love. 🙂

  5. Luffy

    January 18, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    Beautiful poem. I didn’t know of her, but I’ll look for her work now. Thank you ☺️

  6. ksbeth

    January 18, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    Miss her already

    • mybeautfulthings

      January 18, 2019 at 8:24 pm

      But isn’t it wonderful that her poems will live on and on? 🙂

      • ksbeth

        January 18, 2019 at 8:28 pm


  7. Espirational

    January 18, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    I was wondering why everyone was posting Mary Oliver poems online today. So sorry to hear of her passing. I was introduced to her work by my yoga teacher. A reading of one of her poems is a wonderful way to begin or end class.

    • mybeautfulthings

      January 18, 2019 at 7:09 pm

      I can imagine it would set the session off really well. 🙂


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