Mary Oliver, 1935-2019

Mary Oliver, the Pulitzer prize-winning poet who wrote wonderful poems about nature and animal life, has died. She was 83. 

When it's over, Oliver wrote in When Death Comes, 'I want to say: all my life / I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.'

Her view of death - and what a worthwhile life should feel like - was summed up in her much-loved 1992 poem, The Summer Day, where she ponders the value of feeling ‘idle and blessed'.

Its final couplet, the inspiration for our name, asks the reader: 'Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?'

Discussing what was important to her, Oliver once told an interviewer: 'I am not very hopeful about the Earth remaining as it was when I was a child. It’s already greatly changed. But I think when we lose the connection with the natural world, we tend to forget that we’re animals, that we need the Earth. If I have any lasting worth, it will be because I have tried to make people remember what the Earth is meant to look like.