Tag Archives: "In Blackwater Woods"

Feeding This Feverish Plot

Mary Oliver’s “Fish” may be her interpretation of the post-Resurrection story of Jesus eating boiled fish.

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Lord, Thou’st Made the World Too Beautiful

Millay’s gorgeous poem about autumn testifies to God’s hand in the world.

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R.I.P. Mary Oliver, Bride of Amazement

Friday Mary Oliver, who died yesterday, may have been America’s favorite poet. I taught her Pulitzer Prize-winning American Primitive for over 20 years in a nature-focused Introduction to Literature class and so have seen up close her impact on readers. When death has entered my own life, I have often turned to Oliver’s poetry. For […]

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The Fires and the Black River of Loss

We recently held a memorial service for my dear friend and colleague Kate Chandler. I read from some of Kate’s eloquent nature writings and concluded with a Mary Oliver poem.

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On Loving and Letting Go

Mary Oliver’s “In Blackwater Woods” instructs us in how to live and how to die.

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  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

    Please feel free to e-mail me [rrbates (at) smcm (dot) edu]. I would be honored to hear your thoughts and questions about literature.

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