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Mary Oliver

I simply do not distinguish between work and play.

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

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

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So this is how you swim inward. So this is how you flow outwards. So this is how you pray.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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