Ingrid Bruck is wild flower gardener and a poet inspired by nature. She lives in Amish country in Pennsylvania. This site shocases selected works by her.

Remembering Mary Oliver: Diving for Pearls Column - Published by: Between These Shores, February 2019


Diving For Pearls: Online writers' resources by Ingrid Bruck

Ingrid Bruck is a new editor at Between These Shores.  She was a featured writer in BTSA Issue #2. This column is devoted to online writer resources. She found her own writer support community online. Writing this column is one way of "paying it forward". 

Diving for Pearls: Online Writers Resources

BTS Books strives to be a writers resource. Toward that end, we invite writers to share their information, link, and news of interest for the literary community. 


Email your pearls of resources for writers to:

Ingrid Bruck, Network and Resource Editor

BTSresource@yahoo.com


See "Pearls" Archives

FEBRUARY 2019

 

Remembering Mary Oliver

 

The world lost nature poet Mary Oliver on January 15, 2019. She died from lymphoma at 83. Memorials, sketches, photos, copies of her poems, original poems in her memory filled my computer inbox. Teary eyed, I savored each post about Oliver. This wonderful poet who lived fiercely and died unafraid was cherished by many. 

 

Here’a a sketch of Mary Oliver by artist and poet Sandra Matucci, one (like so many) who grieved the poet’s passing. This portrait appeared on Matucci’s  Blog, One Single Drop, two days after the poet’s death.  She titled the work, She Changed the World in Word.  

http://onesingledrop.com/she-changed-the-world-in-word/

 

Mary Oliver wrote poems based on personal nature observation. She took  detailed notes about what she saw, felt and heard during solitary morning walks. She walked near where she lived on Cape Cod and in Florida and then returned home to write. She wrote plain and simple English about the joy she found in the company of plants and animals. Why? Because the ordinary inspired her to live fully. Oliver’s poetry takes fierce delight in nature’s disclosures. Her words revel in the grandeur and wildness of nature, both the dark and light. The lessons she learned gave her courage, they made her unafraid, even curious about dying, knowing death stands on the other side of living. Her poems translate detailed nature observations into words with the power to shake the reader alive to the wild and wonderful in this mortal world. My favorite Oliver poem is a fine example:

When Death Comes:   https://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/102.html

For a brief literary and biographical overview of Oliver’s work and writer’s life, Poetry Foundation is a good source. The site includes text links to several of her poems. Check out: 

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/mary-oliver

 

Hearing a poet read her own work is a way to approach another layer of meaning in a poem. While Oliver guarded her privacy, she enjoyed reading her poems to audiences. YouTube contains numerous links to spoken word performances of Mary Oliver’s poems, they are by her and others. These links take you to two famous Oliver poems in her own voice: 

 

Wild Geese: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lv_4xmh_WtE

 

The Summer Day:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16CL6bKVbJQ&list=PL668E92F8EA6CF22E&index=3

 

Oliver’s obituary appeared in major and regional newspapers, social media sites applauded her. Articles were written by the press, by poets and citizens, by theologians and counselors, by inspirational speakers. Here are two  Mary Oliver obituaries, one from each side of the pond:  

 

Mary Oliver, 83, Prize-Winning Poet to the Natural World, Is Dead, - New York Times, 1/17/19

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/17/obituaries/mary-oliver-dead.html\

Mary Oliver, poet whose evocations of nature won her admirers including Hillary Clinton – obituary - The Telegraph, 1/28/19

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/obituaries/2019/01/28/mary-oliver-poet-whose-evocations-nature-won-admirers-including/?WT.mc_id=tmg_share_em

After Mary Oliver died, articles appeared extolling the inspirational quality of her poetry. She wrote inspiring poems about everyday life in a style that’s direct, easy to understand and reveals God in the ordinary. Her poems are celebratory nature poems, her words do a Rumi-style dance. Oliver makes people feel good about life, she inspires people having hard times to find their way. Theologians and life coaches often quote her. The general public loves her poetry and buys her books. In the literary world, she won major literary awards including the Pulitzer. Here are two links to articles about the inspirational value of Oliver’s poetry: 

  

Mary Oliver, the poet who saw the wilderness in humanity - by Eric Holthaus

 

 1/17/19,  https://grist.org/article/mary-oliver-the-poet-who-saw-the-wilderness-in-humanity/?fbclid=IwAR2STCTK0jgALSQb70Nk2Z1BS0uUYaMRahgY64n9dKvtRUMc1OFXnRQzjuw


Eric Holthaus is a meteorologist and columnist for Grist, covering climate science, policy, and solutions. 


Mary Oliver’s Poems Taught me How to Live - New York Times, 1/18/19, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/18/well/mary-olivers-poems-taught-me-how-to-live.html

 

Mary Oliver’s nature poems are accessible in hard copy and online to anyone anywhere. She was a poet self-schooled in her craft. Reading her poems brings an awareness of majesty of the world revealed in a grain of sand. Or a dewdrop. She’s part of a poetry tradition with roots going backward to William Blake, and earlier still to ancient Chinese and Japanese haiku. 

 

RIP Mary Oliver, and thank you for your poems! 


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Date Published: February 15, 2019 

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