“As long as we are able to
be extravagant we will be
hugely and damply
extravagant. Then we will drop
foil by foil to the ground. This
is our unalterable task, and we do it
And they went on. “Listen,
the heart-shackles are not, as you think,
death, illness, pain,
unrequited hope, not loneliness, but
lassitude, rue, vainglory, fear, anxiety,
Their fragrance all the while rising
from their blind bodies, making me
spin with joy.
– Mary Oliver, “WHEN THE ROSES SPEAK, I PAY ATTENTION” from Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver
As long as you’re dancing, you can
break the rules.
Sometimes breaking the rules is just
extending the rules.
Sometimes there are no rules.
– Mary Oliver, “THREE THINGS TO REMEMBER” from Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver