Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver died at age 83 on Thursday, and her fans are coming out in droves on social media to remember her life’s work.
Oliver, an Ohio native, died from lymphoma after penning more than 15 poetry and essay collections that covered topics like nature, mortality, sorrow and the plight of existence. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for American Primitive, the National Book Award in 1993 for New and Selected Poems, and received the Lannan Literary Award for lifetime achievement in 1998.
Her most recent works include 2016′s Upstream: Selected Essays and the 2017 anthology Devotions.
Oliver spent much of her life with photographer Molly Malone Cook, her partner for over 40 years, and they lived together in Provincetown, Massachusetts, until Cook’s death in 2005. Oliver would later relocate to Florida, where she died.
Oliver ― who referred to Cook as “M.” in her writings ― wrote this after Cook’s death:
“Though you have known someone for more than forty years, though you have worked with them and lived with them, you do not know everything. I do not know everything — but a few things, which I will tell. M. had will and wit and probably too much empathy for others; she was quick in speech and she did not suffer fools. When you knew her she was unconditionally kind. But also, as our friend the Bishop Tom Shaw said at her memorial service, you had to be brave to get to know her.”
On the heels of Oliver’s death, fans have celebrated the poet by sharing various pieces of her writing and what her work meant to them. Here is a collection of those notes:
“It doesn’t have to be blue iris, it can be weeds in a vacant lot.
Just pay attention, then patch a few words together and don’t try to make them elaborate.
This isn’t a contest but the doorway into thanks. A silence in which another voice may speak.”
- Mary Oliver, Praying pic.twitter.com/SHh1EYdU6T
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) January 17, 2019
I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do.
— Mary Oliver, 1935-2019. Thank you, Mary.
— spookaye ghoul (@ohkayewhatever) January 17, 2019
RIP Mary Oliver. My favorite of her poems is, appropriately, a sort of mourning song pic.twitter.com/RjXP5eZWoz
— Hannah Goldfield (@hannahgoldfield) January 17, 2019
I asked my mom to read this Mary Oliver poem at my wedding and it still makes me cry pic.twitter.com/Q3F5vSJIy0
— Emily Hughes 🦔🦙✨ (@emilyhughes) January 17, 2019
RIP Mary Oliver, your words will live on pic.twitter.com/WEZ3KtLvoq
— rachel syme (@rachsyme) January 17, 2019
Thank you, Mary Oliver, for giving so many of us words to live by.
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?"
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 17, 2019
The Uses of Sorrow
by Mary Oliver
(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)
Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.
— Sarah Kay (@kaysarahsera) January 17, 2019
I have this Mary Oliver poem hanging in my room, and read it every morning. Her poetry helped and helps me. pic.twitter.com/X60xFQslZW
— Anna Dobben (@annadobben) January 17, 2019
— Kathryn Schulz (@kathrynschulz) January 17, 2019
The Journey by Mary Oliver. pic.twitter.com/H6vLkRhpCA
— Shannon Stirone (@shannonmstirone) January 17, 2019
Of all the beautiful words Mary Oliver wrote, I think about this line all the time:
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”https://t.co/5BLC67dhEu pic.twitter.com/Ajmhfi3pqR
— Erin (@erinruberry) January 17, 2019
“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”
―Mary Oliver, RIP
— Michael J Seidlinger (@mjseidlinger) January 17, 2019
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.https://t.co/VTtAEvrbWo
— Carmen Maria Machado (@carmenmmachado) January 17, 2019
"Poetry isn't a profession, it's a way of life. It's an empty basket; you put your life into it and make something out of that."
RIP Mary Oliver, filler of baskets. pic.twitter.com/TmyzPOCjyf
— Literary Hub (@lithub) January 17, 2019
“when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?”
I hope Mary Oliver’s next adventure is as wonderful as this one was
— Anne Thériault (@anne_theriault) January 17, 2019
I get the sense it's considered uNcOoL to like Mary Oliver, like she's seen as a little "live laugh love," but I think that's rife with misogyny and also a self-impressed elitist idea of what it means to be literary. I was grateful to be told to live laugh love in beautiful ways.
— Jess Zimmerman (@j_zimms) January 17, 2019
— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) January 17, 2019
RIP Mary Oliver. No living writer’s work meant more to me than hers. pic.twitter.com/rqGxa0PKYl
— Melissa Febos (@melissafebos) January 17, 2019
I fucking love Mary Oliver. Like so many others, "Wild Geese" saved my life again and again.
— Kima Jones (@kima_jones) January 17, 2019
This is my favorite passage from Mary Oliver’s “Upstream” and I hope it brings you some joy today. 🌸
“Attention is the beginning of devotion” — I think about this line all the time. pic.twitter.com/Y2rsRNGRuF
— Julia Carpenter (@juliaccarpenter) January 17, 2019
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.