Mary Oliver

I’ve posted about my love affair with Mary Oliver before.

This week, Swampboy and Aunt Sally pointed out a NY Times article about her and her beloved Cape Cod home in the weekend edition. The article reported that she’s kicking off a poetry series in September at Smith College in Massachusetts.

I’ve been dying to see/hear her in person for about 15 years.

I’m so there!


I feel like a total groupie. I may just scream and hold my head and cry like those teenage girls on the Ed Sullivan show when they watched The Beatles.

Also this week Swamp Dad told me that he hadn’t heard of her. Mon Dieu!! How could this be?

MaryOPhoto by Maria Plati

Here’s one of my favorites and one of her most loved poems, Dad:

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

from Dream Work by Mary Oliver
published by Atlantic Monthly Press
© Mary Oliver

And I just found this, if you want to hear Mary’s voice:


3 Responses to “Mary Oliver”

  1. 1 sp@ce July 10, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    i had never heard of mary either
    thanks for introducing us!
    allowing ((loving)) of what i love : )

  2. 2 misty July 15, 2009 at 3:36 am

    wow, that is so exciting! i bet you can hardly wait until you do get to see her! how cool!

    i love this poem, too!

  3. 3 Stephanie July 15, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Oh I love Mary Oliver…here is a partial of one of my favorites.
    (I am paraphrasing)
    everyday I see or hear something that nearly kills me with delight…

    thank you for the links

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