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New and Selected Poems, Vol. 2

Mary Oliver

Top 10 Best Quotes

“I tell you this to break your heart, by which I mean only that it break open and never close again to the rest of the world.”

“The Poet With His Face In His Hands You want to cry aloud for your mistakes. But to tell the truth the world doesn’t need anymore of that sound. So if you’re going to do it and can’t stop yourself, if your pretty mouth can’t hold it in, at least go by yourself across the forty fields and the forty dark inclines of rocks and water to the place where the falls are flinging out their white sheets like crazy, and there is a cave behind all that jubilation and water fun and you can stand there, under it, and roar all you want and nothing will be disturbed; you can drip with despair all afternoon and still, on a green branch, its wings just lightly touched by the passing foil of the water, the thrush, puffing out its spotted breast, will sing of the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.”

“I held my breath as we do sometimes to stop time when something wonderful has touched us...”

“But mostly I just stand in the dark field, in the middle of the world, breathing”

“WORK, SOMETIMES I was sad all day, and why not. There I was, books piled on both sides of the table, paper stacked up, words falling off my tongue. The robins had been a long time singing, and now it was beginning to rain. What are we sure of? Happiness isn’t a town on a map, or an early arrival, or a job well done, but good work ongoing. Which is not likely to be the trifling around with a poem. Then it began raining hard, and the flowers in the yard were full of lively fragrance. You have had days like this, no doubt. And wasn’t it wonderful, finally, to leave the room? Ah, what a moment! As for myself, I swung the door open. And there was the wordless, singing world. And I ran for my life.”

“What I know I could put into a pack as if it were bread and cheese, and carry it on one shoulder, important and honorable, but so small! While everything else continues, unexplained and unexplainable.”

“I am so happy to be alive in this world I would like to live forever, but I am content not to. Seeing what I have seen has filled me; believing what I believe has filled me.”

“Honey Locust" Who can tell how lovely in June is the honey locust tree, or why a tree should be so sweet and live in this world? Each white blossom on a dangle of white flowers holds one green seed - a new life. Also each blossom on a dangle of flower holds a flask of fragrance called Heaven, which is never sealed. The bees circle the tree and dive into it. They are crazy with gratitude. They are working like farmers. They are as happy as saints. After awhile the flowers begin to wilt and drop down into the grass. Welcome shines in the grass. Every year I gather handfuls of blossoms and eat of their mealiness; the honey melts in my mouth, the seeds make me strong, both when they are crisps and ripe, and even at the end when their petals have turned dully yellow. So it is if the heart has devoted itself to love, there is not a single inch of emptiness. Gladness gleams all the way to the grave.”

“What we must do, I suppose, is to hope the world keeps its balance; what we are to do, however, with our hearts waiting and watching-truly I do not know.”

“So it is if the heart has devoted itself to love, there is not a single inch of emptiness. Gladness gleams all the way to the grave.”

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Book Keywords:

poetry, snow-geese, lead

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