January 17, 2019

Mary Oliver, one of the Greatest Poets of her Generation, has Passed Away at 83.

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For 83 years, Mary Oliver graced us with her words.

On Thursday, January 17th, 2019, she passed away at her home in Florida. She died of lymphoma.

Mary Oliver became renowned for her magical poetry, heavily inspired by nature and animals. One such poem is “Wild Geese,” one of her most famous.

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
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.

You won’t be soon forgotten, Mary.

author: Kelsey Michal

Image: YouTube

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Sally Stone Jan 18, 2019 12:40pm

I keep a book of Mary Oliver’s poems on my bedside table. She is a friend whose voice coaxes me along in my own nature poetry. Rest in peace, Mary Oliver. Be the bride of amazement in the spirit world and whisper poetry in our ears.

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Kelsey Michal

Kelsey Michal grew up in Oregon, leaving her with a particular fondness for the mountains and greenery of the Pacific Northwest. She is an avid hiker, runner, dancer, yoga practitioner, writer, baker, musician, and cook. Kelsey is currently an Elephant Editor, freelance writer, and yoga instructor. Find her on her website, Instagram, or Facebook.