Essay On Mary Oliver

1558 Words7 Pages
How do authors generate ideas when writing? Many authors shape their works by reflecting on occurrences in their lives. While some utilize positive occurrences, more often than not, poets incorporate unpleasant experiences in their compositions. Mary Oliver exhibits this technique by incorporating her tough childhood into her poetry. “…with words, I could build a world I could live in. I had a very dysfunctional family, and a very hard childhood. So I made a world out of words. And it was my salvation” (Shriver). As a result of her sufferings, Oliver also turned to nature for inspiration. Mary Oliver’s works focused on her observations in nature, which provided an escape from reality. Mary Oliver’s experiences in life profoundly influenced her poetry’s subjects, themes, and style. On September 10, 1935, Helen M. Vlassak Oliver gave birth to a baby girl whom she named Mary. She was raised in a semi-rural suburb outside of Cleveland in the small town of Maple Heights, Ohio. Early in her life, Mary was a victim of incest. Her father, Edward W. Oliver, a social studies teacher and athletic coach in the Cleveland public school system, sexually assaulted his own daughter repeatedly for years. In addition to sexual abuse, Oliver also experienced extreme emotional abuse. Despite the knowledge of the incest, Mary’s mother sided with her husband and neglected Mary. As such, Mary had no one to turn to for support, lost the ability to trust other human beings, and felt completely
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