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A Mary Oliver Reading List

Sad news. Just read that Mary Oliver died yesterday. Last night, before I knew, I read her poem Invitation to my yoga class. I hope you already know and love her work. If you don’t yet, here are some suggestions to begin. Everything in bold italics is a title or a quote from Mary Oliver. Dive in. Dive deep. And remember to say thank you to whatever or whoever gave our world the gift of Mary Oliver.

Begin with Invitation
or anywhere
Attend to Wild Geese
and absolutely turn to
From The Book Of Time
visit The World I Live In
to marvel at that life, lived.
Read The Poetry Teacher and
any other poem she wrote
about dogs
or about wild foxes or
any other poem she wrote
I could go on for a long, long time
holding up one gleaming shell after another
artifacts, each still damp from that inventive ocean
where Mary Oliver dived deep.
When Death Comes may we be able to say
we spent much time in her company
May we be able to say we learned
the lesson she taught over and over
“for sheer delight
and gratitude…
just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in this broken world”
Because like our intrepid guide, at the end
“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.”

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