Search quotes by author:    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

Mary Oliver Quotes

Almost anything is too much. I am trying in my poems to have the reader be the experiencer. I do not want to be there. It is not even a walk we take together.

As a child, what captivated me was reading the poems myself and realizing that there was a world without material substance which was nevertheless as alive as any other.

I have a notebook with me all the time, and I begin scribbling a few words. When things are going well, the walk does not get anywhere; I finally just stop and write.

I have a notion that if you are going to be spiritually curious, you better not get cluttered up with too many material things.

I love the line of Flaubert about observing things very intensely. I think our duty as writers begins not with our own feelings, but with the powers of observing.

I simply do not distinguish between work and play.

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

I worked probably 25 years by myself, just writing and working, not trying to publish much, not giving readings.

If I've done my work well, I vanish completely from the scene. I believe it is invasive of the work when you know too much about the writer.

In college, you learn how to learn. Four years is not too much time to spend at that.

My first two books are out of print and, okay, they can sleep there comfortably. It's early work, derivative work.

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.

So this is how you swim inward. So this is how you flow outwards. So this is how you pray.

To live in this world, you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.

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

When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

Writers sometimes give up what is most strange and wonderful about their writing - soften their roughest edges - to accommodate themselves toward a group response.