Mary Oliver died today.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/17/books/mary-oliver-grief.amp.html

Mary Oliver, the prolific and award-winning poet, died on Thursday.

This is one of her poems:

“When Death Comes”

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.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder

if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,

or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

Our friend Bob Shepherd wrote about Mary Oliver:

No, I Will Not Tell You, Tonight, about Despair

Rest in Peace, Mary Oliver, September 10, 1935–January 17, 2019. How can we ever thank you?

We are so grateful for what you did with your wild and precious life.

How do we continue without you, Mother Mary, source of grace and courage? One thing, for certain, we must do: we must swallow your legacy whole, so that it becomes us, so that your voice lives in us and perhaps, if we are so blessed, will, at times, speak through us, a living thing.

Damn it.

Her most famous poem, to which Bob Shepherd alludes:

“The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

—Mary Oliver