Oliver, who cited Walt Whitman as an influence, is best known for her awe-filled, often hopeful, reflections on and observations of nature. “Mary Oliver’s poetry is an excellent antidote for the excesses of civilization,” wrote one reviewer for the Harvard Review, “for too much flurry and inattention, and the baroque conventions of our social and professional lives. She is a poet of wisdom and generosity whose vision allows us to look intimately at a world not of our making.”
Her honors include an American Academy of Arts & Letters Award, a Lannan Literary Award, the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Prize and Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Oliver held the Catharine Osgood Foster Chair for Distinguished Teaching at Bennington College until 2001. She lived for over forty years in Provincetown, Massachusetts, with her partner Molly Malone Cook, a photographer and gallery owner. After Cook’s death in 2005, Oliver later moved to the southeastern coast of Florida. Oliver died of cancer at the age of eighty-three in Hobe Sound, Florida, on January 17, 2019.
*This contents of this post come from Poets.org
Mary Oliver reminds me to look to nature whenever I feel humans are letting the world down. Rejoice in the strength of the trees and the persistent bloom of flowers.
We were walking behind our lovely Airbnb off Route 66 in Parks, AZ (to get away from three-digit temperatures)…
in a National forest…when Ava I noticed something hopping about.
This lovely creature is the Arizona Treefrog!
According to reptilesofaz.org, this is their call (audio file). We think it sounds like a bunch of muppets.
The Arizona Treefrog grows to 1.5 inches. They breed in mostly temporary waters, which I find strange because they look like they need a lot of water.
“In Arizona, Arizona Treefrogs have been found to feed on beetles, spiders, earthworms, flies, and bark beetles. They likely feed on a variety of other small invertebrates, as well.”
This finding was a lucky one as they are nocturnal animals. However, it appears that their skin is toxic and holding them is not the best idea. Oops. Well, I didn’t feel any after effects. My family is doing a collective eye roll as I tell them this because I once caught this in a jar:
“The pain is so debilitating and excruciating that the victim is at risk of further injury by tripping in a hole or over an object in the path and then falling onto a cactus or into a barbed-wire fence.”
Aren’t you glad I passed this on to you? Now you’ll be extra careful when you try to catch one.