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CELEBRATING AMERICAN SHE-POETS (14): Mary Oliver, “I got saved by poetry. I got saved by the beauty of the world.”


THE POET BY DAY

Mary Oliver (b. 1935) Poet & Essayist Mary Oliver (b. 1935)

I love the line of Flaubert about observing things very intensely. I think our duty as writers begins not with our own feelings, but with the powers of observing.

AWARDS: Mary Oliver’s fourth book, American Primitive, won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1984. She  received the Shelley Memorial Award; a Guggenheim Fellowship; an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Achievement Award; the Christopher Award and the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award for House of Light; the National Book Award for New and Selected Poems; a Lannan Foundation Literary Award; and the New England Booksellers Association Award for Literary Excellence.

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.

How often we turn to certain poets for certain healing, to those greater…

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