Mary Oliver  is an American poet who has won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize whose words always manage to touch me deep within and inspire me. You’ll find me quoting her poetry every now and then in my posts.

Today, I’m sharing just a few of her quotes.

Inspirational Mary Oliver Quotes

You can have the other words—chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity. I’ll take grace. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’ll take it.
– Mary Oliver, “Sand Dabs, Five,” Winter Hours

I want to think again of dangerous and noble things. I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable and beautiful and afraid of nothing as though I had wings.
– Mary Oliver, Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays

The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time
– Mary Oliver, “Of Power and Time,” Blue Pastures

quote #64

Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.
– Mary Oliver, “Sometimes,” Red Bird

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
– Mary Oliver, “The Summer Day,” New and Selected Poems

Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.
– Mary Oliver, “Evidence,” Evidence

It’s very important to write things down instantly, or you can lose the way you were thinking out a line. I have a rule that if I wake up at 3 in the morning and think of something, I write it down. I can’t wait until morning—it’ll be gone.
– Mary Oliver, “Maria Shriver Interviews the Famously Private Poet Mary Oliver,” O Magazine, Mar. 2011

To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.
– Mary Oliver, “In Blackwater Woods,” American Primitive

Listen. Are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?
– Mary Oliver, “Have You Ever Tried to Enter the Long Black Branches?”, West Wind
Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems, Volume 1
What I want in my life is to be willing, to be dazzled, to cast aside the weight of facts, and maybe even float a little above this difficult world.
– Mary Oliver, House of Light


Did any of these quotes strike you? Do share.


If you’ve been doing the September Blogging Challenge – congratulations on reaching the last day. It required you to write 22 posts (on weekdays) and I’m so proud of you for working through it. Thank you for your support and patience as well.

I know many of you couldn’t continue due to various circumstances. That’s life. And the good news is that we get more chances. In October, you might like to try out Sarah Arrow’s 30 Day Challenge (which I undertook this month), or the 31 Day Challenge.

Happy blogging!