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Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Instructions for living a life

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Why didn’t life come with instructions? Why did I not pay attention for so many years? I was busy just  living and letting things happen to me. I didn’t have a big plan for my life. Yes, I got an education and a career. But I didn’t have a lofty goal to follow. I raised a family and lived a life. I look back on it and wonder how it all turned out so well. Image result for mary oliver quotes

I don’t know anything about Mary Oliver but her words keep appearing in my presence so I looked her up. I learned that she was born in 1935 in Ohio and began writing poetry at the age of 14. At 17 she visited the home of Edna St. Vincent Millay and formed a friendship with the late poet’s sister. She helped Norma spend six to seven years and the estate organizing Edna St. Vincent Millay’s papers. She moved to Provincetown in the 1960’s and sets most of her poetry in and around there. Influenced by both Whitman and Thoreau she is known for her clear and poignant  observances of the natural world. Her creativity is stirred by nature, and Oliver, an avid walker, often pursues inspiration on foot. Her poems are filled with imagery from her daily walks near her home: shore birds, water snakes, the phases of the moon and humpback whales. In Long life she says "[I] go off to my woods, my ponds, my sun-filled harbor, no more than a blue comma on the map of the world but, to me, the emblem of everything. She commented in a rare interview "When things are going well, you know, the walk does not get rapid or get anywhere: I finally just stop, and write. That's a successful walk!" She says that she once found herself walking in the woods with no pen and later hid pencils in the trees so she would never be stuck in that place again She often carries a 3-by-5-inch hand-sewn notebook for recording impressions and phrases.

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2 comments :

  1. Wonderful and inspiring ♥

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  2. i so enjoyed this post.
    i've always loved mary oliver's poetry yet never really studied about her. thank you!

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