A Visitor – Mary Oliver

My father, for example, who was young once and blue-eyed, returns on the darkest of nights to the porch and knocks wildly …

Mary Oliver

At Great Pond the sun, rising, scrapes his orange breast on the thick pines, and down tumble a few orange feathers into …

August – Mary Oliver

When the blackberries hang swollen in the woods, in the brambles nobody owns, I spend all day among the high branches, reaching …

Aunt Leaf – Mary Oliver

Needing one, I invented her – the great-great-aunt dark as hickory called Shining-Leaf, or Drifting-Cloud or The-Beauty-of-the-Night. Dear aunt, I’d call into …

Black Oaks – Mary Oliver

Okay, not one can write a symphony, or a dictionary, or even a letter to an old friend, full of remembrance and …

Blossom – Mary Oliver

In April the ponds open like black blossoms, the moon swims in every one; there’s fire everywhere: frogs shouting their desire, their …

Catbird – Mary Oliver

He picks his pond, and the soft thicket of his world. He bids his lady come, and she does, flirting with her …

Clapp’s Pond – Mary Oliver

Three miles through the woods Clapp’s Pond sprawls stone gray among oaks and pines, the late winter fields where a pheasant blazes …

Cold Poem – Mary Oliver

Cold now. Close to the edge. Almost unbearable. Clouds bunch up and boil down from the north of the white bear. This …

Daisies – Mary Oliver

It is possible, I suppose that sometime we will learn everything there is to learn: what the world is, for example, and …

Dogfish – Mary Oliver

Some kind of relaxed and beautiful thing kept flickering in with the tide and looking around. Black as a fisherman’s boot, with …

Egrets – Mary Oliver

Where the path closed down and over, through the scumbled leaves, fallen branches, through the knotted catbrier, I kept going. Finally I …

Fall Song – Mary Oliver

Another year gone, leaving everywhere its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves, the uneaten fruits crumbling damply in the shadows, unmattering back from …

Flare – Mary Oliver

1. Welcome to the silly, comforting poem. It is not the sunrise, which is a red rinse, which is flaring all over …

Gannets – Mary Oliver

I am watching the white gannets blaze down into the water with the power of blunt spears and a stunning accuracy– even …

Happiness – Mary Oliver

In the afternoon I watched the she-bear; she was looking for the secret bin of sweetness – honey, that the bees store …

Knife – Mary Oliver

Something just now moved through my heart like the thinnest of blades as that red-tail pumped once with its great wings and …

Lightning – Mary Oliver

The oaks shone gaunt gold on the lip of the storm before the wind rose, the shapeless mouth opened and began its …

Lilies – Mary Oliver

I have been thinking about living like the lilies that blow in the fields. They rise and fall in the edge of …

Marengo – Mary Oliver

Out of the sump rise the marigolds. From the rim of the marsh, muslin with mosquitoes, rises the egret, in his cloud-cloth. …

Mindful – Mary Oliver

Every day I see or hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle in …

Mockingbirds – Mary Oliver

This morning two mockingbirds in the green field were spinning and tossing the white ribbons of their songs into the air. I …

Moles – Mary Oliver

Under the leaves, under the first loose levels of earth they’re there — quick as beetles, blind as bats, shy as hares …

Morning Glories – Mary Oliver

Blue and dark-blue rose and deepest rose white and pink they are everywhere in the diligent cornfield rising and swaying in their …

Morning Poem – Mary Oliver

Every morning the world is created. Under the orange sticks of the sun the heaped ashes of the night turn into leaves …

Mushrooms – Mary Oliver

Rain, and then the cool pursed lips of the wind draw them out of the ground – red and yellow skulls pummeling …

Next Time – Mary Oliver

Next time what I’d do is look at the earth before saying anything. I’d stop just before going into a house and …

Music – Mary Oliver

I tied together a few slender reeds, cut notches to breathe across and made such music you stood shock still and then …

One – Mary Oliver

The mosquito is so small it takes almost nothing to ruin it. Each leaf, the same. And the black ant, hurrying. So …

Peonies – Mary Oliver

This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready to break my heart as the sun rises, as the sun …

Skunk Cabbage – Mary Oliver

And now as the iron rinds over the ponds start dissolving, you come, dreaming of ferns and flowers and new leaves unfolding, …

Snowy Night – Mary Oliver

Last night, an owl in the blue dark tossed an indeterminate number of carefully shaped sounds into the world, in which, a …

Stanley Kunitz – Mary Oliver

I used to imagine him coming from his house, like Merlin strolling with important gestures through the garden where everything grows so …

Sunrise – Mary Oliver

You can die for it- an idea, or the world. People have done so, brilliantly, letting their small bodies be bound to …