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Mary Oliver
“YEARS AGO I set three "rules" for myself. Every poem I write, I said, must have a genuine body, it must have sincere energy, and it must have a spiritual purpose. If a poem to my mind failed any one of these categories it was rebuked and redone, or discarded. Over the forty or so years during which writing poems has been my primary activity, I have added other admonitions and consents. I want every poem to "rest" in intensity. I want it to be rich with "pictures of the world." I want it to carry threads from the perceptually felt world to the intellectual world. I want each poem to indicate a life lived with intelligence, patience, passion, and whimsy (not my life—not necessarily!—but the life of my formal self, the writer). I want the poem to ask something and, at its best moments, I want the question to remain unanswered. I want it to be clear that answering the question is the reader's part in an implicit author-reader pact. Last but not least, I want the poem to have a pulse, a breathiness, some moment of earthly delight. (While one is luring the reader into the enclosure of serious subjects, pleasure is by no means an unimportant ingredient.)”
Mary Oliver, Winter Hours: Prose, Prose Poems, and Poems

Kiley Reid
“I think it best we went our separate ways, and that those paths never crossed again.”
Kiley Reid, Such a Fun Age

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