My favorite poet is Mary Oliver. She is the kind of the writer that perfectly combines the words by feelings. Her words can talk.
She picks up a bunch of aromatic flowers and smiles; she steps into the deep mysterious forest and listens; she smells the spiritual magic of nature and gets infatuated. She, Mary Oliver, the daughter of the earth, extracts every piece of the nature to build a poetic world filled with her particular experiences and feelings. Born in a small town with rural environment in Ohio in 1935, Mary Oliver spent her earliest days surrounding farms and fields and the deep woodlands attracted her. That became the moment when she realized the congenial places that lurked within her heart – nature.
For Oliver, nature is both other and self, as well as a mirror on the soul. Under her pen, more profound than just the descriptions of nature, but her own ideas about life and death. In her famous poem “When Death Comes,” Oliver brilliantly crafted poems about the natural landscape and the fundamental questions of life and death. In the poem, the speaker imagines death in different ways such as “the hungry bear in autumn”, “measle-pox” and “iceberg” reflecting on how she would face it. “I want to step through the door full of curiosity.” She chooses to “look upon everything / as a brotherhood and a sisterhood.” She thinks of death as a new start and a transition of the unknown world even though it stops warmth and movement of the heart. By thinking “each life as a flower,” and “as singular,” Oliver regards death as a reborn of life. “When it’s over, I want to say all my life / I was a bride married to amazement.” She dresses herself as a bride under marriage with amazement which is full of intimacy and vows.
The life is her own marriage that is required the commitment from both the bride and the bridegroom. Oliver shows her decision of holding a life-long and constant unity with the world and herself. She wants her life is amazing with puzzles and beauty and she would “take the world into [her] arm.” Because she doesn’t “want to end up simply having visited this world.” Mary Oliver is not only a poet of nature, but also a poet of life. Her exquisite descriptions about death or life are all permeated with her own perspectives and desires.
Art, she has said, ” is the only medium through which we can live more lives than our own. In the art that is her poetry, Mary Oliver brings all of us new lives by expanding our vision and allowing us to embrace the sensibilities of other times, other places and other worlds.” The art she uses, is to combine nature with her own experiences, which draws people’s attentions and makes them think more about the environment that exists around them.
Just like John Keats said in his poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn” – “Beauty is truth, truth beauty. That is all ye know on Earth, and all ye need to know.” Mary Oliver embraces the beauty of nature, of earth, to feel the beauty of life.
Mary Oliver, a poet of nature, a poet of life.