Mary Oliver

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by MrsAlSny
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Language Arts
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Mary Oliver

Morning PoemEvery morningthe worldis created. Under the orange sticks of the sunthe heapedashes of the nightturn into leaves again and fasten themselves to the high branches ---and the ponds appearlike black clothon which are painted islands of summer lilies. If it is your natureto be happyyou will swim away along the soft trails for hours, your imaginationalighting everywhere. And if your spiritcarries within it the thornthat is heavier than lead ---if it's all you can doto keep on trudging --- there is stillsomewhere deep within youa beast shouting that the earthis exactly what it wanted --- each pond with its blazing liliesis a prayer heard and answeredlavishly, every morning, whether or notyou have ever dared to be happy, whether or notyou have ever dared to pray.


Mary Oliver

The SwanDid you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river?Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air -An armful of white blossoms,A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leanedinto the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies,Biting the air with its black beak?Did you hear it, fluting and whistlingA shrill dark music – like the rain pelting the trees – like a waterfallKnifing down the black ledges?And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds -A white cross Streaming across the sky, its feetLike black leaves, its wings Like the stretching light of the river?And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?And have you changed your life?

HER POETRYMary Oliver often writes about nature in her poems. She is a frequent user of metaphor. Can you find some in her poetry?

HER LIFEMary Oliver was born in 1935 in Ohio. She attended college but did not receive a degree; her writing called! Her writing career has been long and fruitful. She publishes new poems and books every year or two!

HER AWARDSPulitzer Prize for PoetryGuggenheim Fellowship for Creative ArtsLannan Literary AwardNational Book Award for Poetry

ReferencesHurst, C. (2014). Books of poetry I'd want in my classroom. Retrieved from Foundation. (2010). Mary Oliver. Retrieved from


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