"Poetry isn't a profession, it's a way of life. It's an empty basket you put your life into it and make something out of that."
"All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling."Mary Oliver on Oscar Wilde
"A poet can survive everything but a misprint."Mary Oliver on Oscar Wilde
"Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things."Mary Oliver on T. S. Eliot
"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."Mary Oliver on Robert Frost
"A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness."Mary Oliver on Robert Frost
"I very much wished not to be noticed, and to be left alone, and I sort of succeeded."
"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."
"We all have a hungry heart, and one of the things we hunger for is happiness. So as much as I possibly could, I stayed where I was happy. I spent a great deal of time in my younger years just writing and reading, walking around the woods in Ohio, where I grew up."
"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."
"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."