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Red Bird

Mary Oliver

Top 10 Best Quotes

“it is a serious thing // just to be alive / on this fresh morning / in this broken world.”

“Love Sorrow Love sorrow. She is yours now, and you must take care of what has been given. Brush her hair, help her into her little coat, hold her hand, especially when crossing a street. For, think, what if you should lose her? Then you would be sorrow yourself; her drawn face, her sleeplessness would be yours. Take care, touch her forehead that she feel herself not so utterly alone. And smile, that she does not altogether forget the world before the lesson. Have patience in abundance. And do not ever lie or ever leave her even for a moment by herself, which is to say, possibly, again, abandoned. She is strange, mute, difficult, sometimes unmanageable but, remember, she is a child. And amazing things can happen. And you may see, as the two of you go walking together in the morning light, how little by little she relaxes; she looks about her; she begins to grow.”

“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.”

“Emerson, I am trying to live, as you said we must, the examined life. But there are days I wish there was less in my head to examine, not to speak of the busy heart.”

“Mornings at Blackwater For years, every morning, I drank from Blackwater Pond. It was flavored with oak leaves and also, no doubt, the feet of ducks. And always it assuaged me from the dry bowl of the very far past. What I want to say is that the past is the past, and the present is what your life is, and you are capable of choosing what that will be, darling citizen. 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.”

“Percy and Books Percy does not like it when I read a book. He puts his face over the top of it, and moans. He rolls his eyes, sometimes he sneezes. The sun is up, he says, and the wind is down. The tide is out, and the neighbor's dogs are playing. But Percy, I say, Ideas! The elegance of language! The insights, the funniness, the beautiful stories that rise and fall and turn into strength, or courage. Books? says Percy. I ate one once, and it was enough. Let's go.”

“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.”

“Nobody owns the hearts of birds.”

“I did not come into this world to be comforted. I came, like red bird, to sing. But I’m not red bird, with his head-mop of flame and the red triangle of his mouth full of tongue and whistles, but a woman whose love has vanished, who thinks now, too much, of roots and the dark places where everything is simply holding on.”

“I am sorry for every mistake I have made in my life. I’m sorry I wasn’t wiser sooner. I’m sorry I ever spoke of myself as lonely.”

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Book Keywords:

percy-nine, nature, self-acceptance, pain, life, dogs, poetry, living, sorrow

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