This is some of what my dear friend Wikipedia says about her: “Mary Oliver’s numerous awards include the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. With over thirty books to her credit, The New York Times described her as “far and away, this country’s [America’s] best-selling poet”. And yet, I discovered her only few years ago, on the interview she gave to the blog On being.
Since then I’ve come to know many of her poems. I’ve quoted her time and again here on the blog: She knew exactly what to say when I straggled with the meaning of life, when in doubt she supplied answers, finding beauty in darkness and simplicity in our role in the world.
Mary Oliver died two weeks ago. In my humble goodbye, once again I use words from her eternal gift to us:
Of Love / Mary Oliver
I have been in love more times than one,
thank the Lord. Sometimes it was lasting
whether active or not. Sometimes
it was all but ephemeral, maybe only
an afternoon, but not less real for that.
They stay in my mind, these beautiful people,
or anyway beautiful people to me, of which
there are so many. You, and you, and you,
whom I had the fortune to meet, or maybe
missed. Love, love, love, it was the
core of my life, from which, of course, comes
the word for the heart. And, oh, have I mentioned
that some of them were men and some were women
and some — now carry my revelation with you —
were trees. Or places. Or music flying above
the names of their makers. Or clouds, or the sun
which was the first, and the best, the most
loyal for certain, who looked so faithfully into
my eyes, every morning. So I imagine
such love of the world — its fervency, its shining, its
innocence and hunger to give of itself — I imagine
this is how it began.
LOVE appears in countless shapes – which one is yours? Find these heart shaped illustrations and many more on my shop.