Mary Oliver Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old mary oliver quotes, mary oliver sayings, and mary oliver proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift"      

Mary Oliver

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.     

Mary Oliver

Poetry is a life-cherishing force. And it requires a vision – a faith, to use an old fashioned term. Yes, indeed. For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry. Yes, indeed.     

Mary Oliver

Attention without feeling-is only a report.     

Mary Oliver

What can we do but keep on breathing in and out, modest and willing, and in our places?     

Mary Oliver

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.     

Mary Oliver

There is a notion that creative people are absent-minded, reckless, heedless of social customs and obligations. It is, hopefully, true for they are in another world altogether.     

Mary Oliver

When loneliness comes stalking, go into the fields, consider the orderliness of the world.     

Mary Oliver

You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life.     

Mary Oliver

Sometimes breaking the rules is extending the rules.     

Mary Oliver

Rhythm is one of the most powerful of pleasures, and when we feel a pleasurable rhythm we hope it will continue. When it does, it grows sweeter.     

Mary Oliver

I don't ask for the sights in front of me to change, only the depth of my seeing.      

Mary Oliver

Listen, are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?      

Mary Oliver

A mind that is lively and inquiring, compassionate, curious, angry, full of music, full of feeling, is a mind full of possible poetry.     

Mary Oliver

There is a notion that creative people are absent-minded, reckless, heedless of social customs and obligations. It is, hopefully, true for they are in another world altogether.     

Mary Oliver

The face of the moose is as sad as the face of Jesus.     

Mary Oliver

Snow was falling, so much like stars filling the dark trees that one could easily imagine its reason for being was nothing more than prettiness.     

Mary Oliver

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.     

Mary Oliver

Love yourself. Then forget it. Then, love the world.     

Mary Oliver

Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.     

Mary Oliver

Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?     

Mary Oliver

You are breathing patiently; it is a beautiful sound. It is your life, which is so close to my own that I would not know.     

Mary Oliver

Someone I once loved gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.     

Mary Oliver