Poets occupy a curious place in our society. Their whole objective is the creation of beauty, an occupation often seen as privileged, or even superfluous. Still, they persist, offering their ideas and observations to an ungrateful, inattentive world. Their audience is narrow, and their recognition is scarce. And yet, Mary Oliver endures. Or endured, it would seem, as she passed into eternity last Thursday. Oliver’s challenge was to create poetry for an audience that is not only often apathetic toward…