Writing Outside the Lines – Prompt 2.5


Happy Birthday, Mary Oliver, born 10 September 1935

The 12 Most Inspiring Mary Oliver Quotes

  1. Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.
  2. Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.
  3. In college, you learn how to learn. Four years is not too much time to spend at that.
  4. 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.
  5. To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.
  6. Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
  7. Listen. Are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?
  8. Writers sometimes give up what is most strange and wonderful about their writing – soften their roughest edges – to accommodate themselves toward a group response.
  9. You can have the other words—chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity. I’ll take grace. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’ll take it.
  10. If I’ve done my work well, I vanish completely from the scene. I believe it is invasive of the work when you know too much about the writer.
  11. I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
  12. Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.

Oliver is an American poet who has won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. The New York Times described her as America’s best-selling poet. She just turned 81 and has a new book of poetry coming out soon.


Every day I read the Literary Birthdays on a website called Writers Write. Yesterday was the birthday of one of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver.

After reading the above quotes, I couldn’t pick just one that I liked better than the others. So … for this week, read the quotes and pick the one(s) that speak to you and respond in whatever manner works best for you.

You have until Sunday, September 18, 2016 to share your writing … or when you feel the mood strike even after the 18th.

All prompts are active and feel free to go back to earlier ones if you have not been one of my Writing Rebels … the only challenge here is between you and what you have to write … the rules are few and open to everyone!

*For those new to this challenge, please read the particulars under the third tab that says “read first” https://annieswritingchallenge.wordpress.com/writing-outside-the-lines/ then return to the prompt page to post your response or your web site link in the comments section.

Copyright © 2016 Annie
Always…I wish you peace, joy and happiness, but most of all I wish you Love.
As Ever, Annie

5 thoughts on “Writing Outside the Lines – Prompt 2.5

  1. Pingback: A BOX OF DARKNESS | artifiswords

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