Mary Oliver

Topics: BBC World Service, Inner child, Quality Pages: 2 (662 words) Published: April 15, 2013
Mary Oliver
In Mary Oliver’s award winning book, “Blue Pastures”, Oliver states three qualities that makes up an artist. The first quality is to be extraordinary and never ordinary. Also, break loose from time and the craziness of the world today to reach the inner child. Another quality is to find a place of solitude so creativity can flow uninterrupted. Oliver exhibited all three qualities and more. She is truly an artist.

Oliver talks of the normal things in life that must be done. Dishes must be washed. Appointments must be met. Life must go on. Oliver lives the ordinary but also, in her journal excerpt, shows that she indeed lives out of the ordinary as well. Oliver writes, “Deep in the woods, I tried walking on all fours. I did it for an hour or so, through thickets, across a field, down to a cranberry bog.” This is clearly extraordinary. No one crawls around all day on all fours. That is just weird. If Oliver had never experienced this journey on all fours she never could have written the next lines of that excerpt. The line states, “I was exhausted and sore, but I had seen the world from the level of the grasses, the first bursting growth of trees, declivities, lumps, slopes, rivulets, gashes, open spaces. “ Oliver is able to describe what a fox would see and how a fox feels because she took time to be out of the ordinary. Oliver didn’t mind being weird. It was necessary for her work. She ends the excerpt saying, “I was some slow old fox, wandering, breathing, hitching along, and lying down finally at the edge of the bog, under the swirling rick-rack of the trees.”

The second quality of an artist is breaking loose from time and the craziness of the world today to reach the inner child. Oliver herself states in the very first chapter of her book that she has three selves. One of which is her inner child. Oliver says, “Yet, distantly, or sometimes not so distantly, I can hear that child’s voice—I can feel its hope, or its...
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