Thursday, July 8, 2010

Today's poem - Mindful by Mary Oliver

by Mary Oliver
from New and Selected Poems
Volume Two

Every day
I see or I hear
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It is what I was born for -
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world -
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant -
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these -
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean's shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?


  1. prizerHer poetry never fails. She is so astonishing.

  2. gulp. just felt myself rise above the ground as i read this.
    thank you!

  3. Thank you, thank you, Susan and Julie for your words. It makes me very happy that she is so beloved.

  4. Mary is my favorite poet. I wish I could hear her read some of her poetry. She speaks to me.

  5. Oh, what a perfect poem that expresses my heart! I went out on a country drive tonight and those very sentiments were mine....just love it!
    Thanks for sharing!

  6. o.k. Normally poetry flies right over my head but this one I immediately. I love it.

  7. I'm with Susan and Julie on this. Mary Oliver is my favorite, and this poem is a knock out! I like the new look of your blog!

  8. You have chosen one of my most-loved poets, thank you.

  9. Wow! That is glorious! I have to read more of her poems!!!!

  10. Simply lovely. Thank you, Nan.

  11. She just gets it right every time, doesn't she? I am going to pin up a photograph of her where I can see it to remind me to try and see things as she does.

  12. I thank each of you who take the time to comment when I post a poem. Please do go to the sidebar and click 'today's poem' for many, many more wonderful works. And all really understandable, Staci!

  13. Ah, the wonderful Mary Oliver. This is such an uplifting selection. Thank you, Nan!

  14. She is much loved by her readers. She is so wonderful.

  15. She is my favorite poet. Thanks for sharing this.

  16. Me, too Yolanda. Often I'll like a poem or two by a poet, but with Mary Oliver, I like everything she writes.

  17. I echo the many comments. Her poems speak to my heart.

  18. Me too, Ernestine. Thanks for coming by to tell me.


Now that I am a grandmother, it seems that I am often late in replying to your most-appreciated comments. But I read them as soon as they come in, and I will write as soon as I can. Please do come back and check. I love these blogging conversations. A little addendum - I've just spent quite a long time catching up with dear notes you left me months ago!! I do hope you can get back to read them. And I'm trying to be much more prompt now!

Also, you may comment on any post, no matter how old, and I will see it.