I learned today- as a happenstance-
I consider kindred
This day of mine
has been long and full of tumble
I am fighting for this quiet pause
whose prose (A Poetry Handbook) to this day
is in easy reach on my bedside table
and first and still
takes my breath,
distills me in a moment of held time,
heart to pound with hard, illuminated rhythm,
captivates intellect, soul, -my
“Poetry is a life cherishing force. And it requires a vision- a faith, to use an old-fashioned term. Yes, indeed. For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry. Yes, indeed” (122).
whenever I read her pieces whether
prose or poetry:
a life- giving spark–
–the lyric pulse
quakes to life with a thrumming joyous hum:
and I want to respond to her charge-
so powerfully proffered to her generation and all the world:
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild, and precious life?”
The Summer DayWho made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean- the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down- who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes. Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face. Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away. I don't know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
What is it I plan to do?
I want to respond to her charge.
Mary Oliver. Thank you.