Mary Oliver: on “the traction” of poetry (On Being)

On Being, with Mary Oliver:   With my pencil I traveled to the moon and back, probably a few times. I had trouble with the Resurrection so I would not join the church. I think that life is much more interesting with a spiritual part. I spent a lot of times [walking around in theContinue reading “Mary Oliver: on “the traction” of poetry (On Being)”

You do not have to be good: Mary Oliver

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver You do not have to be good.You do not have to walk on your kneesfor 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.MeanwhileContinue reading “You do not have to be good: Mary Oliver”

Sleeping outdoors: John Fowles and Mary Oliver

From John Fowles' The French Lieutenant's Woman: For one terrible moment he thought he had stumbled on a corpse. But it was a woman asleep. She had chosen the strangest position, a broad, sloping fedge of grass some five feet beneath the level of the plateau, and which hid her from the vew of anyContinue reading “Sleeping outdoors: John Fowles and Mary Oliver”

When I am among trees, by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,especially the willows and the honey locust,equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,they give off such hints of gladness,I would almost say that they save me, and daily.  I am so distant from the hope of myself,in which I have goodness, and discernment,and never hurry through the worldbut walkContinue reading “When I am among trees, by Mary Oliver”

In the Footsteps of Mary Oliver

In The New York Times, Mary Duenwald visits the woods near Provincetown, on the afar tip of Cape Cod. This is a land the poet Mary Oliver has made her own, with her soft, limpid, inviting poems. Duenwald almost literally follows in the footsteps of Oliver, just as Oliver herself once followed in the footstepsContinue reading “In the Footsteps of Mary Oliver”