125+ Mary Oliver Quotes About Life, Love And Poetry

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Mary Oliver quotes
125+ Mary Oliver Quotes About Life, Love And Poetry

Mary Oliver Quotes | Mary Jane Oliver (September 10, 1935 – January 17, 2019) was an American poet who won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

Mary Jane Oliver was born on September 10, 1935, in Ohio. She was the America’s most famous poet. She was also awarded the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

Her childhood went through a lot of trouble. But she loved walking and reading.

There were a lot of problems in her family, and her childhood was spent in many troubles. She got peace of mind from one thing, and that was writing.

Many of her poems are very famous such as Breakage, Angels, Watering the Stones, The Summer Day, etc.

In 2012, she was diagnosed with lung cancer, which was later wholly curable. Unfortunately, she died on January 17, 2019, at 83, due to lymphoma. At that time, she was in her own house.

Today her beautiful poem inspires us a lot in our life. Let’s read some of the best quotes written by her.


quotes by mary oliver


“It is a serious thing just to be alive on this fresh morning in this broken world.”

– Mary Oliver


“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” , Yes! No!

– Mary Oliver


“You can have the other words-chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity. I’ll take grace. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’ll take it.”

– Mary Oliver


“There were times over the years when life was not easy, but if you’re working a few hours a day and you’ve got a good book to read, and you can go outside to the beach and dig for clams, you’re okay.”

– Mary Oliver


“I acknowledge my feeling and gratitude for life by praising the world and whoever made all these things.”

– Mary Oliver


“I was very careful never to take an interesting job. If you have an interesting job, you get interested in it.”

– Mary Oliver


“It’s very important to write things down instantly, or you can lose the way you were thinking out a line. I have a rule that if I wake up at 3 in the morning and think of something, I write it down. I can’t wait until morning – it’ll be gone.”

– Mary Oliver


“To tell you the truth, I believe everything – tigers, trees, stones – are sentient in one way or another. You’d never catch me idly kicking a stone, for example.”

– Mary Oliver


“Believe me, if anybody has a job and starts at 9, there’s no reason why they can’t get up at 4:30 or five and write for a couple of hours, and give their employers their second-best effort of the day – which is what I did.”

– Mary Oliver


famous quotes by mary oliver


“We all have a hungry heart, and one of the things we hunger for is happiness. So as much as I possibly could, I stayed where I was happy.”

– Mary Oliver


“I simply do not distinguish between work and play.”

– Mary Oliver


“I’m going to die one day. I know it’s coming for me, too. I’ll be a mountain, I’ll be a stone on the beach. I’ll be nourishment.”

– Mary Oliver


“Animals praise a good day, a good hunt. They praise rain if they’re thirsty. That’s prayer. They don’t live an unconscious life, they simply have no language to talk about these things. But they are grateful for the good things that come along.”

– Mary Oliver


“If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it.”

– Mary Oliver


“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


“This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness.”

– Mary Oliver


“It is better for the heart to break, than not to break.”

– Mary Oliver


“You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life.”

– Mary Oliver


“Listen-are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?”

– Mary Oliver


“Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do With your one wild and precious life?”

– Mary Oliver


“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.”

– Mary Oliver


“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.”

– Mary Oliver


motivational quotes by mary oliver


“Love yourself. Then forget it. Then, love the world.”

– Mary Oliver


“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”

– Mary Oliver


“In the beginning I was so young and such a stranger to myself I hardly existed. I had to go out into the world and see it and hear it and react to it, before I knew at all who I was, what I was, what I wanted to be.”

– Mary Oliver


“The Uses Of Sorrow (In my sleep I dreamed this poem) Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.”

– Mary Oliver


“Love yourself. Then forget it. Then, love the world.”

– Mary Oliver


“I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”

– Mary Oliver


“Still, what I want in my life is to be willing to be dazzled— to cast aside the weight of facts and maybe even to float a little above this difficult world.”

– Mary Oliver


“You can have the other words-chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity. I’ll take grace. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’ll take it.”

– Mary Oliver


“I tell you this to break your heart, by which I mean only that it break open and never close again to the rest of the world.”

– Mary Oliver


“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”

– Mary Oliver


“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

– Mary Oliver


“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.”

– Mary Oliver


random mary oliver quotes


“Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields…Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.”

– Mary Oliver


“I want to think again of dangerous and noble things. I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings.”

– Mary Oliver


“You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life.”

– Mary Oliver


“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”

– Mary Oliver


“Listen–are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?”

– Mary Oliver


“Keep some room in your heart for the Unimaginable”

– Mary Oliver


“I simply do not distinguish between work and play.”

– Mary Oliver


“You can have the other words-chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity. I’ll take grace. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’ll take it.”

– Mary Oliver


“Sometimes I need only to stand wherever I am to be blessed.”

– Mary Oliver


“Ten times a day something happens to me like this – some strengthening throb of amazement – some good sweet empathic ping and swell. This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness.”

– Mary Oliver


“And to tell the truth I don’t want to let go of the wrists of idleness, I don’t want to sell my life for money, I don’t even want to come in out of the rain.”

– Mary Oliver


“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.”

– Mary Oliver


“Love yourself. Then forget it. Then, love the world.”

– Mary Oliver


some more mary oliver quotes


“It is a serious thing /just to be alive / on this fresh morning / in this broken world.”

– Mary Oliver


“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


“If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it…It could be anything, but very likely you notice it in the instant when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the case. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.”

– Mary Oliver


“I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.”

– Mary Oliver


“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

– Mary Oliver


“For me the door to the woods is the door to the temple.”

– Mary Oliver


“You can have the other words – chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity. I’ll take grace. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’ll take it.”

– Mary Oliver


“Sometimes I need only to stand wherever I am to be blessed.”

– Mary Oliver


“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”

– Mary Oliver


“I tell you this to break your heart, by which I mean only that it break open and never close again to the rest of the world.”

– Mary Oliver


“Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?”

– Mary Oliver


mary oliver quotes about love


“Love yourself. Then forget it. Then, love the world.”

– Mary Oliver


“The Uses Of Sorrow (In my sleep I dreamed this poem) Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.”

– Mary Oliver


“Listen, whatever you see and love— that’s where you are.”

– Mary Oliver


“Love, love, love, says Percy. And run as fast as you can along the shining beach, or the rubble, or the dust. Then, go to sleep. Give up your body heat, your beating heart. Then, trust.”

– Mary Oliver


“Also I wanted to be able to love And we all know how that one goes, don’t we? Slowly”

– Mary Oliver


“Do you love this world? Do you cherish your humble and silky life? Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?”

– Mary Oliver


“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”

– Mary Oliver


mary oliver quotes on life


“Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do With your one wild and precious life?”

– Mary Oliver


“Poetry is a life-cherishing force. For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.”

– Mary Oliver


“You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life.”

– Mary Oliver


“Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”

– Mary Oliver


“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


“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

– Mary Oliver


“Listen–are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?”

– Mary Oliver


“I think one thing is that prayer has become more useful, interesting, fruitful, and… almost involuntary in my life.”

– Mary Oliver


“Still, what I want in my life is to be willing to be dazzled— to cast aside the weight of facts and maybe even to float a little above this difficult world.”

– Mary Oliver


mary oliver quotes on Poetry


“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


“I have the feeling that a lot of poets writing now are – they sort of tap dance through it.”

– Mary Oliver


“I consider myself kind of a reporter – one who uses words that are more like music and that have a choreography. I never think of myself as a poet; I just get up and write.”

– Mary Oliver


“The challenge is to keep up with all the new poets at the same time I love the old ones.”

– Mary Oliver


mary oliver dog quotes


“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


“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… Be prepared.”

– Mary Oliver


“A dog is adorable and noble. A dog is a true and loving friend. A dog is also a hedonist. 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 love the dog of our own life, and the dog down the street, and all the dogs not yet born.”

– Mary Oliver


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