From The Atlantic recently, here’s a short essay appreciating Mary Oliver and the art of noticing:
The piece concludes with a sentence that implants itself in the brain, because it is, in fact, so far upstream from the way we live: “Attention is the beginning of devotion.” And, of course, this is so. The unnoticed can’t possibly be loved. Certain critics liked to trash Oliver as unsophisticated. But her simplicity was naked display of the elemental: Dilate, she insisted, because a world worthy of attachment exists outside ourselves, and the alternative is numbness and narcissism.