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poet

Mary Rose O'Reilley

Pampa , TX , United States
Mary Rose O'Reilley

Born in Pampa, Texas, Mary Rose O’Reilley was educated in the parochial school system of Roseville and St. Paul, Minnesota. She graduated from the College of St. Catherine and completed graduate work at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.

She was awarded the 2005 Walt Whitman Award for her first book-length collection of poems, Half Wild, which will be published in the spring of 2006 by Louisiana State University Press. The winning manuscript was chosen by Mary Oliver.

O'Reilley's awards include a Contemplative Studies Grant from the American Council of Learned Societies, a Bush Artist Grant, and the McKnight Award of Distinction. She is the author of the non-fiction books The love of impermanent things: a threshold ecology (Milkweed Editions, 2006); and The Barn at the End of the World (2000).

Since 1978 she has taught English and environmental studies at St. Thomas College. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

by this poet

poem

Monet confided to his journal, "All the while she was dying, I could not stop painting her face."
—Monet at Vétheuil

He will paint her again as grain;
now she is fog
the chantilly fog of the Seine:

avoiding no hint of the slow dissolve,
the bandage around her jaw,
rigor's cramp

poem
I go to church every Sunday
though I don’t believe a word of it,
because the longing for God
is a prayer said in the bones.

When people call on Jesus
I move to a place in the body
where such words rise,
one of the valleys
where hope pins itself to desire;
we have so much landscape like that
you’d think we were
poem
"Art is what remains when the pot is broken."
               —Chinese proverb


I know we are bound to the earth,
and the cracked heart, old terra cotta,
surrenders to vine.
	      
                          Listen—I've seen
wind stir the hair of the dead at Belsen,
growing like art from the lacing grass