Thirst Quotes

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Thirst Thirst by Mary Oliver
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Thirst Quotes Showing 1-18 of 18
The Uses Of Sorrow

(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.”
Mary Oliver, Thirst
“Praying

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.”
Mary Oliver, Thirst
“from the complications of loving you i think there is no end or return. no answer, no coming out of it. which is the only way to love, isn't it? this isn't a playground, this is earth, our heaven, for a while. therefore i have given precedence to all my sudden, sullen, dark moods that hold you in the center of my world. and i say to my body: grow thinner still. and i say to my fingers, type me a pretty song. and i say to my heart: rave on.”
Mary Oliver, Thirst
“My work is the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird - equal seekers of sweetness. Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums...”
Mary Oliver, Thirst
“oxygen

Everything needs it: bone, muscles, and even,
while it calls the earth its home, the soul.
So the merciful, noisy machine

stands in our house working away in its
lung-like voice. I hear it as I kneel
before the fire, stirring with a

stick of iron, letting the logs
lie more loosely. You, in the upstairs room,
are in your usual position, leaning on your

right shoulder which aches
all day. You are breathing
patiently; it is a

beautiful sound. It is
your life, which is so close
to my own that I would not know

where to drop the knife of
separation. And what does this have to do
with love, except

everything? Now the fire rises
and offers a dozen, singing, deep-red
roses of flame. Then it settles

to quietude, or maybe gratitude, as it feeds
as we all do, as we must, upon the invisible gift:
our purest, sweet necessity: the air.”
Mary Oliver, Thirst
“As for life,
I'm humbled,
I'm without words
sufficient to say

how it has been hard as flint,
and soft as a spring pond,
both of these
and over and over,

and long pale afternoons besides,
and so many mysteries
beautiful as eggs in a nest,
still unhatched

though warm and watched over
by something I have never seen –
a tree angel, perhaps,
or a ghost of holiness.

Every day I walk out into the world
to be dazzled, then to be reflective.
It suffices, it is all comfort –
along with human love,

dog love, water love, little-serpent love,
sunburst love, or love for that smallest of birds
flying among the scarlet flowers.
There is hardly time to think about

stopping, and lying down at last
to the long afterlife, to the tenderness
yet to come, when
time will brim over the singular pond, and become forever,

and we will pretend to melt away into the leaves.
As for death,
I can't wait to be the hummingbird,
can you?”
Mary Oliver, Thirst
“Oh Lord of melons, of mercy, though I am not ready, nor worthy, I am climbing towards you.”
Mary Oliver, Thirst
“You have broken my heart. Just as well. Now I am learning to rise above all that, learning the thin life, waking up simply to praise everything in this world that is strong and beautiful always—the trees, the rocks, the fields, the news from heaven, the laughter that comes back all the same. Just as well. Time to read books, rake the lawn in peace, sweep the floor, scour the faces of the pans, anything. And I have been so diligent it is almost over, I am growing myself as strong as rock, as a tree which, if I put my arms around it, does not lean away.”
Mary Oliver, Thirst
“That time I thought I could not go any closer to grief without dying I went closer, and I did not die.”
Mary Oliver, Thirst
“Pretty Song"

From the complications of loving you
I think there is no end or return.
No answer, no coming out of it.
Which is the only way to love, isn’t it?

This isn’t a play ground, this is
earth, our heaven, for a while.
Therefore I have given precedence
to all my sudden, sullen, dark moods

that hold you in the center of my world.
And I say to my body: grow thinner still.
And I say to my fingers, type me a pretty song.
And I say to my heart: rave on.”
Mary Oliver, Thirst
“And who do you
think you are sauntering along
five feet up in the air, the ocean a blue fire
around your ankles, the sun
on your face on your shoulders its golden mouth whispering
(so it seems) you! you! you!”
Mary Oliver, Thirst
“Listen, the heart-shackles are not, as you think, death, illness, pain, unrequited hope, not loneliness, but lassitude, rue, vainglory, fear, anxiety, selfishness”
Mary Oliver, Thirst
“The Uses of Sorrow (In my sleep I dreamed this poem) Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.”
Mary Oliver, Thirst: Poems
“if you live simply and with a lyrical heart
in the cumbered neighborhoods or even,
as Mozart sometimes managed to, in a palace,

offering tune after tune after tune,
making some hard-hearted prince
prudent and kind, just by being happy”
Mary Oliver, Thirst
“The Uses of Sorrow
(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)
Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.
It”
Mary Oliver, Thirst
“My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.”
Mary Oliver, Thirst
“A Note Left on the Door"

There are these: the blue
skirts of the ocean walking in now, almost
to the edge of town,

and a thousand birds, in their incredible wings
which they think nothing of, crying out

that the day is long, the fish are plentiful.

And friends, being as kind as friends can be,
striving to lift the darkness.

Forgive me, Lord of honeysuckle, of trees,
of notebooks, of typewriters, of music,
that there are also these:

the lover, the singer, the poet
asleep in the shadows.
A Note Left on the Door

There are these: the blue
skirts of the ocean walking in now, almost
to the edge of town,

and a thousand birds, in their incredible wings
which they think nothing of, crying out

that the day is long, the fish are plentiful.

And friends, being as kind as friends can be,
striving to lift the darkness.

Forgive me, Lord of honeysuckle, of trees,
of notebooks, of typewriters, of music,
that there are also these:

the lover, the singer, the poet
asleep in the shadows.”
Mary Oliver, Thirst
“Belief isn’t always easy.
But this much I have learned—
if not enough else—
to live with my eyes open.”
Mary Oliver, Thirst: Poems