Tag Archives: Mary Oliver

“Is the soul solid, like iron?”

The poet Mary Oliver continues: “Or, is it tender and breakable, like the wings of a moth in the beak of the owl?” With these questions, Oliver opens the poem “Some Questions You Might Ask,” which has inspired artists, videographers, … Continue reading

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“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.”

Much like Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me, this collection of elegant essays by the poet Mary Oliver is for those who “are not trying to help the world go around, but … Continue reading

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Best of 2015 Books

2015 has been a wonderful year for publishers and readers. My “Best of 2015” list consists of the books that I am most likely to read again. In the memoir category, Norway’s Karl Ove Knausgaard’s fourth volume of My Struggle … Continue reading

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“Poems arrive ready to begin. Poets are only the transportation.”

So often, I see my students take an adversarial stance when they sit down to write. They use phrases such as “grinding it out” and “forcing it” to describe how they work. Sometimes that’s been my experience, too. But does … Continue reading

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“”Understand, I am always trying to figure out what the soul is, and where hidden, and what shape…”

I have always felt more at home with questions than with answers, and I gravitate toward poets who explore rather than explain. Mary Oliver, one of my favorites, writes in this poem, “I believe I will never quite know.  Though … Continue reading

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“…the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting…”

Today, Thanksgiving Day, should not end before we think about the writers who have  changed us. For me, the one who floats to the top this year is Mary Oliver. It’s hard not to say “wow” after reading a poem like “Wild Geese” .  You might expect it … Continue reading

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