Mary Oliver

  • Born: September 10, 1935
  • Died: January 17, 2019
  • Location:

Tribute


Mary Oliver

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet wrote about nature

Mary Oliver (1935 – 2019) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet beloved for her poems about nature and animal life. She died at the age of 83. For full obituary and coverage from Legacy.com, click here.


Condolence & Memory Journal

The flower has withered, the colors remain

Posted by S R - Newtown, CT   May 06, 2019

Candle

Love Marys poetry. She has left this world a better place.

Posted by Diane Austin - Keller, TX - student   March 26, 2019

I love you Mary Oliver. Thank you for the poems.

Posted by Amy - Chicago   February 02, 2019

My condolences to the family. Death is not a period at the end of a sentence. It is simply a comma, or a pause, in a persons life to be continued in paradise.

Posted by V. White - Chicago, IL   January 30, 2019

Candle

Posted by Valenda Newell - Indianapolis, IN   January 29, 2019

My condolences to Mary Oliver's family and friends. May you comfort one another as God comforts you.

Posted by - OH   January 27, 2019

Miss Mary, Thank you for sharing your world. Your words are pressed petals-flowers forever preserved in my mind.

Posted by Meighan Perry - ID   January 22, 2019

Mary, Thank you for writing it all down, to continue the creations of a world we would like to live in. Anna

Posted by A friend   January 22, 2019

When Bob Wallace and I first met with you about publishing "The Night Traveler" chapbook, I was so pleased to be your publisher and printer. I followed you from afar since, and was delighted by your encouragement: I often turn to "Dreams" in the chapbook, and thank you for that family biography among so many other profound poems.

Rest well, Mary. You will remain a wonderful teacher, a natural divine with such insights as come rarely in a generation. Blessings and Peace.

Posted by Nicholas Ranson - Fort Myers, FL - friend   January 22, 2019

To the family and friends
Your hearts are heavy with sorrow. Yet, please know but God has promised us all a Wonderful future if we have faith and confidence in Him. May the God of all comfort, give you peace to help you through this sad time.
2 Thessalonians 3:16

Posted by GS - stockton, CA   January 22, 2019

May you take comfort in the fact that god will make you firm and he will make you strong in your time of sorrow

Posted by A friend   January 22, 2019

I am sorry to read of Mary Oliver's passing. Her rich poetry has spoken to me. I am sure her spirit will live through her writing. Peace be to to her memory. Wilma Johnson

Posted by Wilma Johnson - Providence, RI   January 22, 2019

Candle

When I read of your passing, I took your poetry books from the shelf and spent the day with your poems. Thank you for sharing your writings with all of us. You are missed.

Posted by Jeannine Lauer - Smyrna, TN - student   January 21, 2019

With the sad news of Mary Oliver's passing, I could be tempted to say, "a great light has gone from this world". But despite this deep loss, if I just look to her vast body of literature and her profound impact on my life, its not the dark void of her immutable absence I find, but her undeniable presence and light... and it is everywhere and in everything: in each line of each poem she gifted us, in every flower and every snowflake, in every flock of geese passing overhead and in every needle and cone of even the tallest pine.

For one who lived so brightly, loved so daringly and shared her wild heart and percipient mind so generously, such a light simply cannot be extinguished, like a candle exhausted of wax and wick. So even though this brilliant being now journeys onward beyond our sight and reach, like the sun beyond the horizon, I cannot imagine for even one second that she has faded into darkness.

And I'm confident that when the moment came, she achieved her lofty aim and she crossed that great threshold just as she had aspired: with deep curiosity, contentment, and peacehand in hand with undaunted amazement, and with the same presence, awareness and grace that she wove into the basket of her life's work, and that she has so humbly bestowed upon usand continues to bestowlike a sacred blessing, each time we seek refuge in her poetry and prose.

Thank you, Mary, Queen of Poets, for lending us your wakeful stillness, so that we may rest our weary, fidgety minds there a while and remember once more how to pay attention and how to be and our place "in the family of things." And thank you for your most kind and irresistible invitation to stroll through your beloved groveswhere we may find a mossy bench and pencils hidden in the treesanytime we choose.

With love and deep gratitude,
Durga

Posted by Durga Martin - Ottawa, ON - student   January 21, 2019

Walk in the heavens with Percy my dear friend. Condolences to Anne and Marty

Posted by Cindi    January 21, 2019

Thank you Mary for your gifts - our humanity in nature. My friends and I shared soft words over loss of you. with love and light,

Posted by Christina - Hopewell Junction, NY   January 21, 2019

Mary Olivers gift of letting others see inside her seeing changed my life, indescribably and forever. May we all keep sharing her gift with our children, and our childrens children, for the beauty of each of their wild and precious lives!

Posted by Kathy - Vancouver, BC   January 21, 2019

It was your personage, the burning in effigy, that gave me pause. Thank you for catching the light and throwing it back, for playing ball in my desert and then going for ice cream with me just the same.

Posted by Kathleen Sacco - Lowell, MA   January 21, 2019

Thank you love, thank you for all of who you are and rest well my friend...

Posted by Elaine Snow - Marysville, PA - acquaintance   January 21, 2019

Condolences for your loss.

Posted by A friend   January 21, 2019

Please accept my condolences for the family and friends of Mary Oliver. It is so beautiful to know how much we appreciated her gift for words and the messages she related by means of her poems. May you experience peace in reliving the wonderful memories you shared with Mary, as well as, to be comforted by the God of tender mercies who know and understand our pain.

~L. Russ

Posted by A friend   January 21, 2019

Candle

I am saddened and even though we never met, I know I have lost someone special and inspiring. The first time I read The Journey and When Death Comes I was forever changed. Your journey here completed, you go on to the bigger adventure beyond.

Posted by Carol Welch - Duluth, GA - friend   January 20, 2019

With heartfelt sympathy. Please accept my deepest condolences. May you continue to cherish her precious memories together. May you find comfort in the God of all comfort to offer you comfort and the strength to endure during these difficult times ahead.

Posted by A friend   January 20, 2019

A truly gifted poet.

Posted by l. Nelson    January 20, 2019

Thank you for giving the world the gift of your poetry.

Posted by Stephanie Suggs - Tucker, GA   January 20, 2019

Thank you for the beautiful treasures you have left us.Rest in peace surrounded by God's love...

Posted by Benita Ryan - Swansea, MA   January 20, 2019

I have never felt so bereft by the death of somebody I did not know personally. The world has lost a treasure, a beautiful being who loved and reminded the rest of us what is precious and important -- of the magic of nature and the beauty of rain, sun, moss, grass, lilies and, of course, dogs. I hope so much that Mary passed in a place from where she could take in the beauty of it all and that she was surrounded by those she loved best -- and that she had dogs with her and knew they would be loved and cared for by others who embraced her values.

Posted by EVA SCHIORRING - KENSINGTON, CA   January 19, 2019

Mary Oliver s tape, self compassion and her poetry have been making my heart and soul soar for many years. Farewell.

Posted by Dorothy - ANDOVER, CT   January 19, 2019

Her poetry spoke to my heart and inspired my own writing. Although we never met, I considered her a dear friend. Her words will continue to bring the treasures of nature and the human quest for spiritual understanding to a needy world. Mary, I'm so glad that you were here.

Posted by Sandra Bush - Parkersburg, WV - friend   January 19, 2019

Your poetry came into my life almost by accident and changed it completely. But nothing is by accident. Thank you Mary for putting into words what my soul could not. Rest in peace.

Posted by Stefania Vitale    January 19, 2019

Thank you will never be enough to express how much you've changed my perspective on living and loving and everything in between. You will live on through the thousands of souls you've touched with your words.

Posted by Jaimie Roxas - Birmingham, AL   January 19, 2019

Thank you for your wonderful poetry and the way you thought of things in this world. Your gifts will be remembered and read and cherished by readers for ages to come. I first read your poetry after the death of JFK, jr. and have been in awe of your writing ever since.

Posted by JM - CT   January 19, 2019

May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.

Posted by A friend   January 19, 2019

Mary Oliver, your words gave me great joy and connected me to the wild beauty and rhythm of the world when I needed that connection most. I knew you only through your words yet will miss you like a lost loved one. Rest in peace dear Mary.

Posted by Kathleen Harper - Alexandria, VA   January 19, 2019

Your words bring us together as no other. Though you have passed, you will be remembered forever. God Bless you and your loved ones.

Posted by glenn keto - Laurier, WA - friend   January 18, 2019

May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.

Posted by A friend   January 18, 2019

My love goes out to the Oliver Family. May your hearts be filled with joyous memories of your dear Mary.
Mary, thank you for the beautiful poems you gave the world. And for blessing us with your presence here on Earth.

Posted by Tanya Siejhi - Miami, FL - student   January 18, 2019

Sorry for your loss your family is in our prayers

Posted by Lillie - MS   January 18, 2019

The first poem that I read of Oliver's and I carry it with me always:

The Ponds

Every year
the lilies
are so perfect
I can hardly believe

their lapped light crowding
the black,
mid-summer ponds.
Nobody could count all of them

the muskrats swimming
among the pads and the grasses
can reach out
their muscular arms and touch

only so many, they are that
rife and wild.
But what in this world
is perfect?

I bend closer and see
how this one is clearly lopsided
and that one wears an orange blight
and this one is a glossy cheek

half nibbled away
and that one is a slumped purse
full of its own
unstoppable decay.

Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled
to cast aside the weight of facts

and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking

into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing
that the light is everything that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and fading. And I do.

Posted by Kathleen Baker - BREWSTER, MA - student   January 18, 2019

My condolences to the Oliver Family and friends for the loss of your dear MARY. May you continue to be blessed with her memory and legacy and your hearts be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times you shared together; and may the hope that God's word gives us for those we lost in death be comforting, faith building and encouraging to you (John 6:40) ~ Linda, Queens, NY

Posted by A friend   January 18, 2019

My deepest, heartfeltfelt condolences to the family and friends of Mary Oliver. May you have comfort and hope, John 6:40 during this most difficult time. D. Hamilton

Posted by D Hamilton - CA   January 18, 2019

I am so sorry for your loss. May God grant you strength during this difficult time.

Posted by A friend   January 18, 2019

Mary Oliver will always be remembered fondly. She leaves behind a wonderful legacy and will be truly missed. But though she will be missed, we are not without hope because at Acts 17:31 Jehovah God promised that Mary will be resurrected. Endure with that promise and the resurrection hope that only Jehovah God can provide.

Posted by Shee Key - Shaker Heights, OH - Neighbor   January 18, 2019

Thank you Mary for your beauriful poems you gave the world, you did a great job. Now , rest in peace and know what awe your words will bring .

Posted by P W    January 18, 2019

Please accept my condolences. May you find comfort in knowing that God is near you and is a refuge during this difficult time. Psalms 9:9

Posted by Virginia    January 18, 2019

I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family for the loss of your loved one, who will be remembered for her contribution to the literary arts and history. May you find comfort and help in God during this time of sorrow.

Posted by - Bear, DE   January 18, 2019

Candle

I would love to meet Mary Oliver in paradise. May we all draw close to our Heavenly Father because he love us and he have a wonderful future instore for us, John 17:3. God love you.

Posted by Sally - Painesville, OH   January 18, 2019

My condolences to the Oliver family, please find comfort in knowing that God has promised that he will do away with death forever, 1 Cor 15:26.

Posted by A friend   January 18, 2019

May the God who gives hope fill you with joy and peace during this difficult time. Romans 15:13
Dave

Posted by Dave Vorves - Merritt Island, FL   January 18, 2019

Candle

Posted by Ann Stokman - Milwaukee, WI   January 18, 2019

You were a ray of light.. a path,..to love and joy. Rest well,Mary Oliver. Bloom wherever you may be. With profound admiration,..Louise H Snyder

Posted by Louise Snyder - Alexandria, VA   January 17, 2019

As an Elder myself, I found your poetry, your essays simple, profound, breathtaking, inspirational, inviting, and a stunning tribute to Mother Nature and Her Creation. I am a better person because you share yourself so intimately, so exquisitely with me, with the "family of we". You weave true magic of the heart with your mastery of words, and we are and forever will be under your "spell".

Posted by Arleen Winer - Gainesville, FL - acquaintance   January 17, 2019

Candle

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

Posted by A friend   January 17, 2019

How I love the poems of Mary Oliver. So sorry to hear about her death. So very sorry!!

Posted by Sharon Hanson - Coralville, IA   January 17, 2019

When there are no words, there is poetry. Thank you Mary Oliver for the space to hold them in. See you in the wild! God speed.

Posted by Jennifer - ORLANDO, FL   January 17, 2019

A Great Soul has left the earth. But what gifts she has left us! Gifts of words and the gift of her example of how to BE in this life. Millions of ordinary people like me keep her books on the nightstand and mourn her passing. God speed, Mary Oliver.

Posted by bonnie cook - west sand lake, NY   January 17, 2019

Thank you for your many gifts, Mary Oliver. Thank you for leaving us your words.

Posted by Carol Christ-Campbell - Grand Junction, CO   January 17, 2019

Thank you Mary for ALL of the gifts you shared with us from your heart of hearts. Your memory is a blessing. Sending Love, Light, Peace & Grace for all of your Beloveds. May your soul's journey be peaceful & never lose it's sense of wonder. I always think of you when I see the geese flying high. Godspeed Beauty-Love you, always!

Posted by Maureen Schreiber - SANDY, UT   January 17, 2019

Dear Oliver family:
I am truly sorry for your loss of Mary. May the peace of God be with your family during this most difficult time. 2 Corith. 1:3,4

Posted by A. W.    January 17, 2019


Family Album

Mary Oliver