Posts Tagged 'mary oliver'

The West Wind (Part 9) by Mary Oliver

And what did you think love would be like? A summer day? The brambles in their places, and the long stretches of mud? Flowers in every field, in every garden, with their soft beaks and their pastel shoulders? On one street after another, the litter ticks in the gutter. In one room after another, the lovers meet, quarrel, sicken, break apart, cry out. One or two leap from windows. Most simply lean, exhausted, their thin arms on the sill. They have done all that they could. The golden eagle, that lives not far from here, has perhaps a thousand tiny feathers flowing from the back of its head, each one shaped like an infinitely small but perfect spear.

 

Oliver, Mary. “West Wind.” New and Selected Poems. Volume Two. Boston, MA: Beacon, 2005.  

The Storm by Mary Oliver

Now through the white orchard my little dog
romps, breaking the new snow
with wild feet.
Running here running there, excited,
hardly able to stop, he leaps, he spins
until the white snow is written upon
in large, exuberant letters,
a long sentence, expressing
the pleasures of the body in this world.

Oh, I could not have said it better
myself.

 

Oliver, Mary. “The Storm.” New and Selected Poems. Volume Two. Boston, MA: Beacon, 2005.  

What is There Beyond Knowing by Mary Oliver

What is there beyond knowing that keeps
calling to me? I can’t

turn in any direction
but it’s there. I don’t mean

the leaves’ grip and shine or even the thrush’s
silk song, but the far-off

fires, for example,
of the stars, heaven’s slowly turning

theater of light, or the wind
playful with its breath;

or time that’s always rushing forward,
or standing still

in the same–what shall I say–
moment.

What I know
I could put into a pack

as if it were bread and cheese, and carry it
on one shoulder

important and honorable, but so small!
While everything else continues, unexplained

and unexplainable. How wonderful it is
to follow a thought quietly

to its logical end.
I have done this a few times.

But mostly I just stand in the dark field,
in the middle of the world, breathing

in and out. Life so far doesn’t have any other name
but breath and light, wind and rain.

If there’s a temple, I haven’t found it yet.
I simply go on drifting, in the heaven of the grass and the weeds.

 

Oliver, Mary. “What is There Beyond Knowing.” New and Selected Poems. Volume Two. Boston, MA: Beacon, 2005. 6. 

On Traveling to Beautiful Places by Mary Oliver

Every day I’m still looking for God
and I’m still finding him everywhere,
in the dust, in the flowerbeds.
Certainly in the oceans,
In the islands that lay in the distance
Continents of ice, countries of sand
Each with its own set of creatures
And God, by whatever name.
How perfect to be aboard a ship with
Maybe a hundred years still in my pocket.
But it’s late, for all of us,
And in truth the only ship there is
Is the ship we are all on
Burning the world as we go.

 

Oliver, Mary. “On Traveling to Beautiful Places.” A Thousand Mornings. New York: Penguin, 2012. 67.

Work, Sometimes by Mary Oliver

[…] As for myself, I swung the door open. And there wasthe wordless, singing world. And I ran for my life.

-excerpt from
Oliver, Mary. “Work, Sometimes.” New and Selected Poems. Volume Two. Boston, MA: Beacon, 2005. 6.