cff MARY OLIVER SPOKE TO OUR SOULS | Simple and Serene Living


Friday, January 18, 2019

I love poetry and I especially love poetry that is simple and speaks to my soul.

Mary Oliver's poetry did that for me as it did for so many others. There was a joy in her nature inspired poetry, but she also wrote about the darker side of life. She wrote about the abuse she suffered as a child and about the lung cancer that almost took her life. 

Although she won a Pulitzer Prize, what she seemed to want more was that her poetry spoke to people. Oliver said, "Poetry to be understood must be clear. It mustn't be fancy,"

Inspired by her long walks in nature, she captured a spirituality that appealed to so many people.

Mary Oliver left this life on Thursday. She was 83 years old and had been suffering with lymphoma. 

Her poem, "When Death Comes" spoke of how she wanted her own death to be.

When Death Comes

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox

when death comes,
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

and therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as a possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

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.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real

I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

--Mary Oliver

I hope you found your final journey to be a joyous one full of curiosity.

I know that you left this world a richer place.

Thank you.


  1. Beautiful poem. I am sorry to say I had not heard of her nor read her poems but I will be looking for a book of them soon. I find her words soothing in many ways. Thank you for sharing this. Hugs.

  2. How wonderful, thank you so much!

  3. Beautiful. I love people that can evoke our emotions with words and pictures. Mary sounded like just that kind of poet. God Bless her soul. May she find peace.
    Happy Weekend Laura.

  4. Beautiful and inspirational. May she rest in peace. Hoping you are doing okay.


  5. I had not heard of Mary Oliver, but her words are very thought provoking. I love poetry and words that make me think, or that may even change the way I perceive things. It sounds like she was very good at that. RIP in Mary and I hope your next journey is full of wonder and amazement. Marilyn

  6. Praying that she knew, "There's a Better Home Awaiting in the Sky, Lord, in the Sky".. Peace..


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