Lori Lynne Armstrong

“If it is all poetry, and not just one’s own accomplishment, that carries one from this green and mortal world–that lifts the latch and gives one a glimpse into a greater paradise–then perhaps one has the sensibility: a gratitude apart from authorship; a fervor and desire beyond the margins of the self.”
–Mary Oliver

I, like many of us, love and admire much of Mary Oliver’s published poetry. I have to admit, though, that my favorite things written by her are lines like the above: prose mediations about the experience of writing poetry. Why to write poetry. Why poetry matters. I believe the above comes from “A Poetry Handbook,” and when I read it I felt a rush of comfort and belonging. She knew. Someone knew, and someone was telling me it’s a good thing to love what I love.

What does “a gratitude apart from authorship” mean to me?…

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