American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · Inspirational · Motivational · Nature · Poetry · Spirituality

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, from “In Blackwater Woods,” American Primitive. (Back Bay Books; 1st edition, April 30, 1983)

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