Thank you Poem Elf for this tribute to a poet whose poems are “fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry”
To the mountain of tributes to the great Mary Oliver, I add this little pebble.
In a world with so many hysterical people running loose, shouting and fighting and festering outrage, I miss her. Or I miss the idea of her, the poet walking along the shore in her barn jacket, quiet and alone, observing. This wise chronicler of grief and joy, confusion and discovery, this plain-dressing, plain-spoken witness to the extravagant beauty of the natural world, this translator of the unvoiced spiritual impulse, this New England gal, our very own American Rumi—is gone, alas. Fortunately her poems are here to stay. She’ll be read for ages.
The poem below is not one of her greatest hits, but I’ve been thinking about it since I came across it. Like so many of her poems, it’s planted a seed in my soul that has taken root.
by Mary Oliver
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