elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,
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elisa_rolle

Mary Oliver & Molly Malone Cook

Mary Oliver (born September 10, 1935) and Molly Malone Cook (1925–2005) were together from 1959 to 2005. (P: Mary Oliver in 1964 (Photograph: Molly Malone Cook))

Mary Oliver is one of our era’s most beloved and prolific poets — a sage of wisdom on the craft of poetry and a master of its magic; a woman as unafraid to be witty as she is to wise. For more than forty years, Oliver lived on Cape Cod with the love of her life, the remarkable photographer Molly Malone Cook — one of the first staff photographers for The Village Voice, with subjects like Walker Evans and Eleanor Roosevelt, and a visionary gallerist who opened the first photography gallery on the East Coast, exhibited such icons as Ansel Adams and Berenice Abbott, and recognized rising talent like William Clift. (She was also, living up to her reputation as “a great Bohemian American,” the owner of a bookshop frequented by Norman Mailer and occasionally staffed by the filmmaker John Waters.)

When Cook died in 2005 at the age of eighty, Oliver looked for a light, however faint, to shine through the thickness of bereavement. She spent a year making her way through thousands of her spouse’s photographs and unprinted negatives, mostly from around the time they met, which Oliver then enveloped in her own reflections to bring to life Our World (public library) — part memoir, part deeply moving eulogy to a departed soul mate, part celebration of their love for one another through their individual creative loves. Embraced in Oliver’s poetry and prose, Cook’s photographs reveal the intimate thread that brought these two extraordinary women together — a shared sense of deep aliveness and attention to the world, a devotion to making life’s invisibles visible, and above all a profound kindness to everything that exists, within and without.


Mary Oliver (b. 1935, right) with Molly Malone Cook (1925–2005) at the couple's home in Provincetown, Massachusetts
Mary Oliver and Molly Malone Cook were together from 1959 to 2005. For more than forty years, Oliver lived on Cape Cod with the love of her life, the remarkable photographer Molly Malone Cook — one of the first staff photographers for The Village Voice. When Cook died in 2005 at the age of eighty, Oliver looked for a light, however faint, to shine through the thickness of bereavement. She spent a year making her way through thousands of her spouse’s photographs and unprinted negatives which Oliver then enveloped in her own reflections to bring to life Our World.

Source: www.brainpickings.org/2015/01/20/mary-oliver-molly-malone-cook-our-world/

Further Readings:

Long Life: Essays and Other Writings by Mary Oliver
Paperback: 120 pages
Publisher: Da Capo Press (March 2, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0306814129
ISBN-13: 978-0306814129
Amazon: Long Life: Essays and Other Writings
Amazon Kindle: Long Life: Essays and Other Writings

Poets must read and study, but also they must learn to tilt and whisper, shout, or dance, each in his or her own way, or we might just as well copy the old books. But, no, that would never do, for always the new self swimming around in the old world feels itself uniquely verbal. And that is just the point: how the world, moist and bountiful, calls to each of us to make a new and serious response. That's the big question, the one the world throws at you every morning. 'Here you are, alive. Would you like to make a comment?' This book is my comment.--from the Foreword.

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Tags: days of love tb
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