Mary Oliver quotes

25 Uplifting Mary Oliver Quotes to Cheer You Up

It’s safe to say that I’m no stranger to sadness. In fact, this last year has been especially difficult to conquer. However, I find that a good Mary Oliver quote always seems to send my dark thoughts away, and get me thinking about all the magical things life has to offer!

Mary Oliver is a renowned poet known for her themes of nature, love, gratitude, and embracing life and all it has to offer.

So, if you feel down and you need a quick pick-me-up, don’t despair! These quotes will surely cheer you up and brighten your outlook on life.

25 Cherished Mary Oliver Quotes

Refreshing Mary Oliver Quotes That’ll Make You Think

#1. “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

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

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

#4. “I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.”

#5. “I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”

#6. “In the beginning, I was so young and such a stranger to myself I hardly existed. I had to go out into the world and see it and hear it and react to it, before I knew at all who I was, what I was, what I wanted to be.”

#7. “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.”

#8. “I tell you this to break your heart, by which I mean only that it break open and never close again to the rest of the world.”

#9. “Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting – over and over announcing your place in the family of things.”

#10. “Let me keep my distance, always, from those who think they have the answers. Let me keep company always with those who say “Look!” and laugh in astonishment, and bow their heads.”

Beautiful Mary Oliver Quotes to Start Your Day With

#11. “Most mornings I’m up to see the sun, and that rising of the light moves me very much, and I’m used to thinking and feeling in words, so it sort of just happens. I think one thing is that prayer has become more useful, interesting, fruitful, and almost involuntary in my life.”

#12. “Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.”

#13. “Knowledge has entertained me and it has shaped me and it has failed me. Something in me still starves.”

#14. “There were times over the years when life was not easy, but if you’re working a few hours a day and you’ve got a good book to read, and you can go outside to the beach and dig for clams, you’re okay.”

#15. “You have to be in the world to understand what the spiritual is about, and you have to be spiritual in order to truly be able to accept what the world is about.”

#16. “We need beauty because it make us ache to be worthy of it.”

#17. “In this universe, we are given two gifts: the ability to love and the ability to question. Which are, at the same time, the fires that warm us and the fires that scorch us.”

#18. “Do you love this world? Do you cherish your humble and silky life? Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath? Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden, and softly, and exclaiming of their dearness, fill your arms with the white and pink flowers, with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling, their eagerness to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are nothing, forever?”

Inspirational Mary Oliver Quotes About Animals and Nature

#19. “Animals praise a good day, a good hunt. They praise rain if they’re thirsty. That’s prayer. They don’t live an unconscious life, they simply have no language to talk about these things. But they are grateful for the good things that come along.”

#20. “Come with me into the woods where spring is advancing, as it does, no matter what, not being singular or particular, but one of the forever gifts, and certainly visible.”

#21. “My work is loving the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird – equal seekers of sweetness.”

#22. “When I am among the trees, especially the willows and the honey locust, equally the beech, the oaks and the pines, they give off such hints of gladness. I would almost say that they save me, and daily.”

#23. “A dog can never tell you what she knows from the smells of the world, but you know, watching her, that you know almost nothing.”

#24. “Because of the dog’s joyfulness, our own is increased. It is no small gift. It is not the least reason why we should honor as love the dog of our own life, and the dog down the street, and all the dogs not yet born.”

#25. “Be prepared. A dog is adorable and noble. A dog is a true and loving friend. A dog is also a hedonist.”

In Conclusion

Mary Oliver truly has a way with words, especially when it comes to describing the world we live in, and the natural wonders that surround us. In fact, I’d like to think she’s opened up my mind to a whole new way of thinking about life and all the beautiful things it has to offer.

Overall, these are just a few of the many Mary Oliver quotes I enjoy reading, but there are many more you can find in her poems. Check out her work, I promise you you’ll love it!

Image source: Mary Oliver photo from

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