Mary Oliver wrote so many beautiful poems, selecting only one for a Saturday recitation was no easy task. I am most familiar with her poem, “The Journey,” however, I enjoy the experience and challenge of learning a new poem a few days before a blog post. My recitation selection, “Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me,” has a subtle melancholy transformed by gentle beauty and hope. Oliver’s ability to tell a moving story with an economy of words is impressive. This one spoke to me Monday night. 😉 Coincidentally, we had a rare desert rain the next day. I suppose I chose right!
Author Bio: Mary Oliver was born in Cleveland, Ohio on September 10, 1935. Best known for her gift of writing about the “quiet occurrences of nature,” it is no surprise to learn that Mary spent time exploring and writing poetry in the woods as a child; her escape from a difficult home. Oliver attended Ohio State University and Vassar College, but did not earn a degree from either. However, she did receive Honorary Doctorates from The Art Institute of Boston, Dartmouth College, Marquette University, and Tufts University and she taught at many colleges and universities. Influenced by Edna St. Vincent Millay, Oliver was a prolific writer of poetry and prose, earning numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and a Lannan Literary Award for lifetime achievement. Oliver met her forty-year partner, photographer Molly Malone, during a trip to Austerlitz in the late 1950s; the two lived in Provincetown, Massachusetts until Cook’s death in 2005. Oliver eventually relocated to Florida. She died of lymphoma on January 17, 2019.
Thank you for visiting, reading, listening, and watching. Be well. 💗 Michele
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Photos: my images taken during my July ’21 writing retreat in the Cascade Mountains, Oregon
© 2021 Michele Lee Sefton