Top 10 Mary Oliver Love Poems of All Time

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  • January 2, 2024
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  • 9 min read


Mary Oliver is a beloved American poet whose work is known for its ability to capture the essence of nature, human connection, and love. Her writing is often autobiographical, drawing from the lessons she has learned in her own life—particularly about love.

In this blog, the Ghostwriting Founder will look at some of Mary Oliver’s Poems about love. We’ll explore what makes them so special, why they resonate with readers today, and how they can be used as inspiration for your writing.

Who is Mary Oliver:

Mary Oliver, a celebrated American poet, left an indelible mark on literature with her poignant and reflective works of best Short poems. She was born in 1935 in Ohio. Oliver’s Poems were deeply rooted in nature, reflecting her profound connection to the natural world.

Her verses in her writing journey often explored themes of beauty, solitude, and the human experience. She draws inspiration from the landscapes and wildlife that surround her.

Oliver Poem’s writing style was characterized by simplicity and accessibility, yet it carried profound depth and emotional resonance.

Her collections, including New and Selected Poems, A Thousand Mornings, and Devotions, earned her a wide readership and numerous accolades, including the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1984 for her collection American Primitive.

Throughout her career, Oliver’s Poems illuminated the delicate balance between humanity and the environment. It encouraged readers to find solace and meaning in the simplicity of the natural world. Her words were a testament to the transformative power of nature and the enduring beauty found in the everyday moments of life.

Mary Oliver passed away in 2019, leaving behind a legacy of verse that continues to inspire and resonate with readers worldwide, inviting them to pause, reflect, and find solace in the whispers of nature.

Top 10 Mary Oliver poems of all time

Within her vast repertoire, she stands out, evoking profound feelings and painting vivid pictures of love’s myriad facets. The ghostwriting founder brings you the top 10 Mary Oliver poems that have left an indelible mark on hearts worldwide.

1. When Death Comes

Mary Oliver’s When Death Comes isn’t just about the end; it’s about embracing life’s essence.

In this poem, Oliver reflects on how death shapes our perception of life. She invites us to think about how we live, love, and appreciate the world around us.

Instead of fearing death, she encourages us to make the most of life’s precious moments, allowing love to guide our choices.

2. The Journey

The Journey by Mary Oliver is like a roadmap for navigating life’s challenges. It tells a story of courage and self-discovery. Oliver urges us to follow our hearts, even when faced with uncertainty or hardships. This poem emphasizes that love isn’t just about romance; it’s about embracing our true selves and finding strength in life’s journey.

It also talks about ignoring unhelpful advice from others and trusting your feelings because, deep down, you know what’s right for you.

Some people see this poem as about a mid-life crisis. It might be about a woman who’s a wife and maybe a mom. Instead of always thinking about others, she decides to focus on herself and what she needs. It’s like she’s searching for independence and a way to save herself.

3. Wild Geese

In her famous poem Wild Geese, she talks about us as humans before even mentioning the geese. She tells us to accept our bodies and instincts. Then she brings in the geese, showing how even when we feel alone, the world around us is there for us to appreciate.

Mary Oliver also said that even when we feel lonely, our imagination can open the world to us. She believed that our imagination is what makes us special as humans. It helps us connect with nature and find our place in the world.

People loved Mary Oliver’s poetry because she made nature and our feelings fit together like puzzle pieces. She helped us see the link between nature and how we live. She made us think deeper about our connection to the world around us. This made her poems popular and loved by many.

4. Morning Poem

In this favorite Oliver poem, she talks about hope and starting anew using the beginning of a fresh day. It was published in her book called Dream Works in 1986.

The poem tells us that a new day is like a place where things that seem lost or burned can change into something good again, like ashes turning into leaves. Oliver wants people to feel hopeful, believing that in life, there are many moments to begin again and see good signs for the future.

Morning Poem is Mary Oliver’s love letter to the simple joys of everyday life. She marvels at the beauty of nature and invites us to appreciate the small wonders around us.

Oliver shows us that love isn’t always grand gestures; it’s often found in the sunrise, the chirping birds, and the gentle breeze—a reminder to cherish life’s simple pleasures.

5. In Blackwater Woods

Imagine this poem as a mirror reflecting life’s changes and the power of love within them.

Mary Oliver’s words paint a picture of nature’s cycles, emphasizing that change is inevitable.

Through this poem, Oliver encourages us to embrace life’s shifts, reminding us that love helps us navigate the seasons of change.

6.  I Ask Percy How I Should Live My Life

Mary Oliver’s I Ask Percy How I Should Live My Life is a delightful conversation with a dog named Percy. Through this poem, Oliver playfully explores life’s profound questions.

She suggests wisdom can be found in simple moments, like observing a dog’s carefree spirit.

This poem reminds us that love and joy often reside in life’s uncomplicated pleasures, urging us to embrace authenticity and find happiness in everyday experiences.

7. Peonies

Peonies by Mary Oliver is a poetic tribute to the enduring nature of love. Oliver vividly describes peonies’ beauty and fleeting bloom, drawing parallels to the timeless essence of love.

The poem captures how love, like the blooming flower, radiates its beauty despite its transient nature.

Through her words, Oliver invites us to cherish the ever-present love surrounding us, acknowledging its resilience and everlasting grace.

8. The Summer Day

In ‘The Summer Day’ by Mary Oliver, the poem starts with a question about who created the world and all its creatures. Then, it focuses on a special moment where the speaker sees a grasshopper eating sugar from her hand. Like many of Oliver’s poems, this poem takes us to specific moments with nature that surprise and captivate us.

In this poem, she invites us to ponder life’s mysteries and the wonders of the world around us. The poem is an exploration of the marvels of nature and a contemplation of life’s purpose.

9. Little Dog’s Rhapsody in the Night

Mary Oliver’s Little Dog’s Rhapsody in the Night is a heartwarming reflection on love and companionship from a dog’s perspective.

Through the eyes of a little dog, Oliver beautifully captures the essence of love’s unwavering presence.

This Oliver poem celebrates the interconnectedness between humans and animals, highlighting the joy and comfort of their companionship and unconditional love.

10. The Sun

The Sun by Mary Oliver is a lyrical tribute to the splendor of nature and the constancy of love.

Oliver’s words paint a vivid picture of the sun’s magnificence, drawing parallels between its steadfastness and the enduring nature of love.

Through this poem, she invites us to contemplate the profound warmth and brightness that love brings into our lives, much like the sun’s illuminating presence.

Key Characteristics and Profound Details

Poem Title Key Themes Insights and Reflections
When Death Comes Embracing life, love, and the essence of living Reflection on how death shapes our perception of life; Encourages making the most of precious moments guided by love.
The Journey Courage, self-discovery, and life’s journey A roadmap for navigating life’s challenges; Emphasizes the importance of self-discovery, courage, and following one’s heart.
Wild Geese Acceptance, loneliness, and imagination Encourages accepting our bodies and instincts; Highlights the role of imagination in connecting with nature and overcoming loneliness.
Morning Poem Hope, starting anew, and simple joys Conveys a message of hope and new beginnings with the dawn of a fresh day; Celebrates the beauty of everyday life and the simplicity of love.
In Blackwater Woods Life’s changes and the power of love Reflects on life’s cycles and inevitable changes; Encourages embracing life’s shifts with the guiding force of love.
I Ask Percy… Wisdom in simplicity and joy in the ordinary Explores profound questions through a delightful conversation with a dog; Advocates finding wisdom and joy in life’s uncomplicated pleasures.
Peonies Enduring nature of love and its fleeting beauty Poetic tribute to the timeless essence of love using the metaphor of blooming peonies; Invites cherishing the ever-present and resilient nature of love.
The Summer Day Pondering life’s mysteries and marvels Starts with a question about the creation of the world; Invites contemplation of life’s purpose and appreciation for the wonders of nature.
Little Dog’s Rhapsody… Love and companionship from a dog’s perspective Heartwarming reflection on the unwavering presence of love through the eyes of a little dog; Celebrates the joy and comfort of companionship between humans and animals.
The Sun Splendor of nature and the constancy of love Lyrical tribute to the magnificence of the sun, drawing parallels with the enduring nature of love; Invites contemplation on the warmth and brightness that love brings into our lives.


So there you have it—the top 10 Mary Oliver poems of all time. These love poems are also great for reading to your partner or sharing with a friend.

Mary Oliver is the poet for you when you’re looking for a love poem that will transport you to a beautiful, calming place.

Suppose you want to become a poet and have some poems to publish. In that case, you can do self-publishing on amazon or hire a content development agency who can help you in your publishing process and provide you with branding and publicity services.

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