Emerson, I am trying to live...the examined life - The Transcendentalist Poet Mary Oliver


  • Emma Charlotte Weiher Philipps-University Marburg




Mary Oliver, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism, Poetry, Contemporary Poetry


Even after the poet’s passing in 2019, Mary Oliver’s poetry continues to soothe and inspire her readers. Celebrated for her mindful and meditative poetic responses to the natural world, her name has been linked to literary movements such as American Transcendentalism and Romanticism. This article traces such Transcendentalist thought in selected works by Mary Oliver through comparisons made to Emerson’s concept of the Over-Soul and the position of the poet as presented by both writers.

Author Biography

Emma Charlotte Weiher, Philipps-University Marburg

Emma Charlotte Weiher recently graduated from Philipps-University Marburg with a Master’s Degree in North American Studies, having specialized in Canadian women’s writing and contemporary poetry. She is currently preparing her dissertation as part of the International Graduate School “Resonant Self-World Relations” at Erfurt University. Her thesis will discuss the writings of Mary Oliver, as well as those by other renowned female poets, and focus on the disembodied and impersonal self in contemporary North American poetry.




How to Cite

Weiher, Emma Charlotte. “Emerson, I Am Trying to live. The Examined Life - The Transcendentalist Poet Mary Oliver”. Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies, vol. 23, no. 1, Aug. 2022, pp. 7-23, doi:10.5283/copas.354.