We want to celebrate the life a recently deceased Legendary Weirdo, Mary Oliver. While certainly one of the most famous American poets, winning the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award among many others, we consider Oliver to be a legendary creative mind, a MossyBrain matriarch.
Mary had a difficult childhood. Because of that, nature became a safe haven. She would retreat into the nearby woods, build huts, and write poems. That relationship with nature continued as an adult. She was known for taking long, meandering walks every day, and the influence of the natural world is prominent in her poems.
Her poetry combines spirituality and an adoration of nature. Her poems are simple, easy to understand, yet profound. She told NPR, “Poetry, to be understood, must be clear. It mustn’t be fancy. I have the feeling that a lot of poets writing now, they sort of tap dance through it. I always feel that whatever isn’t necessary should not be in the poem.”
That accessibility certainly contributed to her popularity, and her influence on the modern poetic landscape. She was famously reclusive and humble, not enjoying the limelight and avoiding interviews. One gets the impression that she was unapologetically herself, flawed and messy. She did not need to be impressive, she was uncomfortable with fame and glory. She seemed to write for the sake of writing.
In one of her most famous poems, Wild Geese, we find a MossyBrain mantra:
“Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”
Mary Oliver shows us how the world can offer itself to our imaginations in the seemingly mundane- on a morning walk, watching the ocean waves roll in or leaves rustling in the wind. Our world is a wondrous place- may we all find the courage of curiosity to breathe in the beauty surrounding us.
“When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.”
-Excerpt from When Death Comes
Take some time to dig deeper into Mary Oliver’s collected works. Below are some of her most popular collections- click the Amazon links or check them out from your local library. You won’t be disappointed!
Jessica Beresh is a blogger and co-founder of MossyBrain. Along with her husband Ben, their 4 kids and their sweet puppy Charlie she resides in Broken Arrow OK. She is a 9 on the Enneagram, enjoys drinking Chai (hot or iced) and loves rainy days.
Connect with her on Facebook or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You might also like…
Here’s What You Need to Know About Forest Bathing
The practice of forest bathing, also known as Shinrin-yoku, is the act of immersing oneself in nature, specifically forests, for the purpose of promoting health and well-being. This practice has gained popularity in recent years, as people have recognized the numerous...
Finding Flow in Nature
Flow is a state of consciousness where individuals become completely absorbed in what they are doing, lose track of time, and feel a deep sense of enjoyment and fulfillment. It is often described as being "in the zone" and is a state that many people strive to...
100 Creative Activities You Could Do Today
"Why do I need a list of 100 Creative Activities?" you might be asking yourself. Well, there are a million reasons we all come up everyday with not to do something. When it comes to intentionally choosing to create, many times we rationalize that it would be easier to...
DISCLOSURE: Some links in this article, and elsewhere on this site, may be affiliate links. While there is not any additional cost to you, purchases made via those affiliate links may earn us a commission. Only products and services which have been vetted and tested by the MossyBrain team are featured and promoted. If you are thinking of purchasing a featured product or service, or have a genuine interest in a linked product, your use of the affiliate link is appreciated and allows us to continue writing these kinds of helpful articles. Thanks so much!