“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.”

oliver-essaysMuch 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 forward.” It’s a guide for dreamers – for people who need “the whole sky to fly in.” She doesn’t give advice directly. Her description of Emerson’s tactics describe her own approach. She writes that he “opens doors and tells us to look at things for ourselves. The one thing he is adamant about is that we should look – we must look.”

Mary Oliver, Upstream: Selected Essays (New York: Penguin Press, 2016), 30.

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