In Memoriam: Poet Mary Oliver

In Memoriam: Mary Oliver

Posted on January 18, 2019 - 10:10am

Beloved poet Mary Oliver passed away on Thursday, January 17th at age 83.  Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, Oliver’s poetry focused on nature and the spiritual world and appealed to many because of her spare, simple yet powerful language.

Interviewed by NPR, Mary said “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.”

One of Oliver’s most popular poems is The Summer Day, with the closing lines:

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?”

The Metro Library Network has a variety of Mary Oliver’s poetry available for checkout, as well as books of essays and other writings.