Mary Oliver

(1730 words)
  • Rosemary Anne Lucas (Victoria University)

So come to the pond,
or the river of your imagination,
or the harbor of your longing,
and put your lips to the world.
And live
your life.
(Red Bird, 57)

The prolific writings of Mary Oliver – mainly poetry, but also some essays, memoir and guides to the writing of poetry – each in their different ways, exhort the reader to come and “drink” at the pond of the imagination, to experience an ecstatic and transformative relation with the natural world. Within Oliver’s poetic, it is a relation based particularly around the heightened experiences of looking at, of seeing and feeling one’s place …

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Lucas, Rosemary Anne. "Mary Oliver". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 September 2008
[, accessed 24 September 2016.]