My tribute to Mary Oliver and her nature poetry

I have been very inspired by the poetry of Mary Oliver who sadly left us this January. I wish I had known about her when I was teaching. I feel many of her poems are so direct and accessible for young people.

On my short break in Ireland last October I listened to her reading a collection of her poems and shared these with friends there who always inspire me to keep writing.

The Dverse poets group are another inspiration and Grace has done a fitting tribute to Mary Oliver with a powerful selection of her poems. I am a bit slow posting as we have been in Lisbon but I would like to rekindle my attempts at sonnets too.  A challenge for 2019, a poem a month and a post a month!

Here is the link to Dverse and a selection of Mary Oliver poems. Dverse


In Praise of Mary Oliver

Words wait to come but first I have to dig and feel the sun
Warm up my back instead of in the cold where wifi weaves
Within a world of virtuous vice that brought me to your light.
A breeze moves among this mix of trees with leathery leaves
That do not fall in time together, but one by one by one.
Hidden within, no fear of death, the birds bring sounds so bright.

Your poems, your voice reached out beyond the wintry chill,
Beyond the miles of ocean deep, with your birds, your trees,
The dipper, grasshopper, dog that ate the Bhagavad Gita,
Moments when you take us from the outer to the inner
To focus on the smallest things and show determined will
To see this precious world, its wild ways, and be at ease.


This is not a sonnet yet! It needs two more lines and checking for scanning. And it’s cold inside with the wifi and glorious outside. Am going out to bring in my supply of home grown potatoes, close the gate to my huerta. Photos of our Wild or overgrown finca!

Enough poetry for now. But an offering for January!


41 thoughts on “My tribute to Mary Oliver and her nature poetry”

  1. Georgina, it was so sad to learn about her passing but her poetry lives one, I’ve heard her Wild Geese a lot this last week, and find something new each time. An amazing poet and a beautiful tribute to her. The last three lines sums up her work and impact on us all. Brilliant!

    ‘Moments when you take us from the outer to the inner
    To focus on the smallest things and show determined will
    To see this precious world, its wild ways, and be at ease’

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, all well – one of our daughters has made us surprised and very happy new grandparents and our other daughter, to her surprise, is having a baby in March, so our focus has shifted over the last year.


  2. This is such a good read, Oliver is one of my top ten. She did a fabulous interview on Krista Tippett’s ‘On Being’ show availbale on iTunes, if you haven’t caught up with that one.

    Liked by 1 person

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