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Mary Oliver Quotes and Sayings

I hope you find great value in these Quotes by Mary Oliver from my large collection of motivational and inspirational quotes and sayings.

Writers sometimes give up what is most strange and
wonderful about their writing -
soften their roughest edges -
to accommodate themselves toward a group response.
- Mary Oliver

I was very careful never to take an interesting job.
If you have an interesting job, you get interested in it.
- Mary Oliver

In college, you learn how to learn.
Four years is not too much time to spend at that.
- Mary Oliver

My first two books are out of print and,
okay, they can sleep there comfortably.
It's early work, derivative work.
- Mary Oliver

 

I have a notion that if you are going to be spiritually curious,
you better not get cluttered up with too many material things.
- Mary Oliver

I simply do not distinguish between work and play.
- Mary Oliver

If I've done my work well, I vanish completely from the scene.
I believe it is invasive of the work when you know
too much about the writer.
- Mary Oliver

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I have a notebook with me all the time,
and I begin scribbling a few words.
When things are going well, the walk does not get anywhere;
I finally just stop and write.
- Mary Oliver

I worked probably 25 years by myself,
just writing and working, not trying to publish much,
not giving readings.
- Mary Oliver

As a child, what captivated me was reading the poems
myself and realizing that there was a world without
material substance which was nevertheless as alive as any other.
- Mary Oliver

So this is how you swim inward.
So this is how you flow outwards.
So this is how you pray.
- Mary Oliver

To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.
- Mary Oliver

When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a
bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
- Mary Oliver

I love the line of Flaubert about observing things very intensely.
I think our duty as writers begins not with our own feelings,
but with the powers of observing.
- Mary Oliver

Poetry isn't a profession, it's a way of life.
It's an empty basket; you put your life into it and
make something out of that.
- Mary Oliver

Almost anything is too much.
I am trying in my poems to have the reader be the experiencer.
I do not want to be there.
It is not even a walk we take together.
- Mary Oliver

To live in this world, you must be able to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it;
and,
when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.
- Mary Oliver

No one ever found wisdom without also being a fool.
Writers, alas, have to be fools in public,
while the rest of the human race can cover its tracks.
- Erica Jong

One cannot have wisdom without perspective,
but once gaining perspective, one attains wisdom.
Wisdom is the ability to view every situation
as each person who is in any way affected
by that situation might view it.
Wisdom benefits from having a knowledge of history,
and therefore a historical perspective,
as well from as having the perspective of imagination -
the realm of the what-might-be
inhabited by futurists and science-fiction writers.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I know many writers who first dictate passages,
then polish what they have dictated.
I speak, then I polish - occasionally I do windows.
- Edward Koch

Writers write.
Dreamers talk about it.
- Jerry B. Jenkins

When you take stuff from one writer it's plagiarism;
but when you take it from many writers,
it's research.
- Wilson Mizner

Directors and writers have a lot of stress as well,
because they have people they answer to.
- Alexis Bledel

I still feel the impulse to give young writers a hearing,
and I believe I have played more unpublished compositions
than any other band leader in the country.
- John Philip Sousa

In fact, I think for a lot of writers,
it's so hard to be read.
- Susie Bright

Creative writers are always greater than the causes that they represent.
- E. M. Forster

If I had to give young writers advice,
I would say don't listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.
- Lillian Hellman

Virginia Woolf said that writers must be androgynous.
I'll go a step further.
You must be bisexual.
- Rita Mae Brown

There are professional negotiators working for the writers and the actors,
but basically you've got the writers and actors negotiating against businessmen.
That's why you get rhetoric.
- Dick Wolf

Success breeds volume, and it's just amazing how many young writers,
artists, and musicians there are in town.
- Steven Curtis Chapman

I want to see the writers strike because the writers,
god bless them, are the only true commies we have in Hollywood.
- Ned Beatty

Writers are frequently asked why they wrote their first book.
A more interesting answer might come from asking them
why they wrote their second one.
- Len Deighton

Writers in repressive societies are considered dangerous.
That's why so many of them are in jail.
- Don DeLillo

I think writers are prone to hyperbole sometimes.
- John Legend

Writers are always selling somebody out.
- Joan Didion

The only people who have the long view are some scientists
and some science fiction writers.
- Sheri S. Tepper

There are writers in Germany who drink the Absolute like water;
and there are books in which even the dogs make references to the Infinite.
- Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

The writers have slowly taken the show,
with subjects other gay shows have dived right into,
slowly.
It was over a year before Will even started to date.
- Sean Hayes

Dreaming in public is an important part of our job description,
as science writers, but there are bad dreams as well as good dreams.
We're dreamers, you see, but we're also realists,
of a sort.
- William Gibson

There were five writers on Blazing Saddles.
- Dom DeLuise

Apart from a few simple principles, the sound and rhythm
of English prose seem to me matters where both writers
and readers should trust not so much to rules as to their ears.
- F. L. Lucas

The trouble with young writers is that they are all in their sixties.
- W. Somerset Maugham

I'm one of those writers who tends to be really good
at making outlines and sticking to them.
I'm very good at doing that, but I don't like it.
It sort of takes a lot of the fun out.
- Neil Gaiman

Placing on writers the responsibility to represent
a culture is an onerous burden.
- Amy Tan

Good writers borrow from other writers.
Great writers steal from them outright.
- Aaron Sorkin

I think writers rush in where everybody is very frightened to tread.
- Guillermo Cabrera Infante

I feel more influenced in my own work by dreams than
I do by other writers' works in a way.
Or by popular culture, movies - what else is there
to write about than love and loss?
- Alice Hoffman

I love writers all across the board,
but one who influenced me very directly at the beginning was Mary Renault.
- Tanith Lee

It would not be fair to the critics of Rotary,
who include some of the most brilliant of the British and American writers,
to charge them with prejudice.
- Paul Harris

I'm more concerned with getting them to find and strengthen
their original voice as writers rather than imposing
my own subjective tastes,
judgements or sensibility on the project.
- Douglas Wood

Some writers take to drink, others take to audiences.
- Gore Vidal

It had more layers than an onion.
These writers meant business.
There was a level for everybody.
Your major could be celestial mechanics,
and there'd be celestial-mechanics jokes.
- Billy West

When you have a foreign invasion - in this case by the Indonesian army -
writers,
intellectuals, newspapers and magazines are the first targets of repression.
- Antonio Tabucchi

Writers write to influence their readers,
their preachers, their auditors, but always,
at bottom, to be more themselves.
- Aldous Huxley

I didn't need to borrow money from the record company,
because if I had my own publishing company,
and I had my own writers, I'd have enough to get and
do whatever I wanted to do.
- Solomon Burke

At this stage I am not involved with young adults as
closely as many other writers.
My children are grown up and my grandchildren are still quite young.
- Margaret Mahy

I must apologise because I know all writers have memories
of being on the outer because it's the children on
the side of the playground who become the dangerous writers.
- Thomas Keneally

I realized that everything important in sci-fi showed
up in the magazines first.
It's the proving ground for new writers and new ideas.
- Orson Scott Card

The nation that complacently and fearfully allows its
artists and writers to become suspected rather than
respected is no longer regarded as a nation possessed with humor or depth.
- James Thurber

We've got a bunch of new writers now who tell me they
grew up watching The Simpsons.
It's bizarre, and they're writing some very funny stuff.
- Matt Groening

On the other hand, at some level the mass of unresolved
issues in Northern Ireland does influence the fact
that there are so many good writers in the place.
- Paul Muldoon

The first year we actually did a lot of night shooting
and the writers weren't even allowed on location.
- James MacArthur

Nobody is surprised that women writers accurately represent
male characters over and over again,
no doubt because everybody knows that women understand
men much better than vice-versa.
- Peter Straub

Writers are good at plucking out what they need here and there.
- Beverly Cleary

I think most writers feel like they're on the outside
looking in much of the time.
All of us feel, to a certain extent,
alienated from the stuff going on around us.
- Mark Haddon

Writers say many true things about their own experiences
with publicity and promotion.
- Teresa Nielsen Hayden

It's always a mistake for writers to key their submissions to world events,
because they move so quickly and unpredictably,
as has certainly proven the case in Afghanistan.
- Richard Curtis

You know, all writers are vampires and they'll look
around and they watch you when you're not even thinking
they're watching you and they'll slip stuff in.
- James Gandolfini

My breakthrough as a reader was when I discovered the
European adventure story writers -
Alexander Dumas,
Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott,
to name a few.
- Terry Brooks

At one time if you were a black writer you had to be
one of the best writers in the world to be published.
You had to be great.
Now you can be good.
Mediocre.
And that's good.
- Walter Mosley

I feel it is time that I also pay tribute to my four writers,
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
- Fulton J. Sheen


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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

 


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