Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Poetry Quote of the Day: Mary Oliver

"...poets have, in freedom and in prison, in health and in misery, with listeners and without listeners, spent their lives examining and glorifying life, meditation, thoughtulness, devoutness, and human love. They have done this wildly, serenely, rhetorically, lyrically, without hope of answer or reward. They have done this grudgingly, willingly, patiently, and in the steams of impatience.

They have done it for all and any of the gods of life, and the record of their so doing belongs to each one of us.

Including you."
 ---Mary Oliver, from her Rules for the Dance

This post is part of my Poetry Quote a Day series for National Poetry Month.


  1. J. Patrick Lewis4/7/09, 7:12 AM

    That's a wonderful Mary Oliver quote you've given us, Sara. Here's another of hers that has always resonated with me:
    "Poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry."

  2. Love this one!! Thanks so much.

  3. Oooh, thanks, Pat. That is lovely. Fire, rope, bread. Yes. All so palpable and real.

  4. I love how specific Mary Oliver is: this is for me that she has written...

  5. I needed this today. Thank you.


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