Monday, September 10, 2012

Today's poem by Mary Oliver, on the occasion of her birthday

Since hearing of Mary Oliver's health troubles, I have found it very difficult to find updates. But today, on her 77th birthday I was so happy to see this:



Recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Mary Oliver is one of America’s most esteemed and beloved poets. Her poems, with their deep connection to nature, are renowned for their evocative and precise imagery, transforming the everyday world into a place of magic and discovery. Throughout her celebrated career, she has published more than 20 books of poetry, including American Primitive and New and Selected Poems, Volume One, and taught at many colleges and universities around the country, inspiring generations of younger writers.

Join us for an evening with one of America’s foremost poets as she reads and discusses her work including her latest book of poems, A Thousand Mornings, releasing October 11, 2012.

Book signing follows.

THE RUTH AND CARL J. SHAPIRO CELEBRITY LECTURES
Mary Oliver Reads Mary Oliver [SOLD OUT]
Thursday, October 25, 2012
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Remis Auditorium, 161
© 2012 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


And now for a poem to celebrate!

Just Around the House, Early in the Morning

Though I have been scorned for it,
let me never be afraid to use the word beautiful.
For within is the shining leaf
and the blossoms of the geranium at the window.
And the eyes of the happy puppy as he wakes.
The colors of the old and beloved afghan lying
by itself, on the couch, in the morning sun.
The hummingbird's nest perched now in a
corner of the bookshelf, in front of so many
books of so many colors.
The two poached eggs. The buttered toast.
The ream of brand-new paper just opened,
white as a block of snow.
The typewriter humming, ready to go.

Mary Oliver
from Swan, 2010

32 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing the update on Mary Oliver. I too have been searching for information without much luck. I'm so happy to see that she is well enough to give a reading (so wishing that I could be there though!). Also, what a wonderful poem to start the day with :)

    Also, I don't comment often but I wanted you to know how very happy I am that you decided to continue blogging last year. This is such a beautiful place to visit and I am so thankful to you for creating it. Have a lovely week! - Rebecca

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    1. Thank you so much for such kind words. They mean a lot to me.
      And I wish I could be in Boston for this reading, too!

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  2. Oh, Nan, this is so beautiful. I posted it to my D.E. Stevenson discussion group (mentioning that I found it on your blog) and hope it will make my fellow Dessies as happy as it did me. I do like your blog very much. I hope you never become bored with it and it continues to feel like a happiness and not a burden to you!

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    1. I used to be part of this group, I think! Is it on yahoo? I actually tried to join again a couple months ago, without success.
      I enjoyed the company of fellow fans!
      And I thank you very much for what you said. It does feel like a 'happiness' to me. And much of that comes from my dear, kind readers.

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    2. Oh, Nan, please try again. I'm going to send this to Susan, our moderator. You should be able to join without difficulty.

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    3. Thank you so much, but here's the story. I went to yahoo yesterday, and found that I don't have an account anymore. It has been years, and email address changes so I thought I'd start a new acct. Well, they practically asked for my soul, but I faked a birthdate, and then tried to do the same with the required zip code, but they wouldn't let me. So I gave up. I just don't want to give them that info. Years ago, you didn't have to. I know it's probably silly, and people give that stuff to Facebook, etc. but I just didn't want to. So the problem isn't with the Dessies but with yahoo. Thanks again.

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  3. I'm so glad to read that she is well enough to do readings, thank you so much for finding this information and letting us know. I searched from time to time to no avail. I wonder if she is still writing, I can't imagine her not doing that.
    Lovely poem, I haven't heard it before.
    She is such a treasure, her words always change my world for the better.
    Carole

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  4. What a perfect, perfect thing to say 'her words always change my world for the better.' Could one say anything more wonderful about a writer, poet, person?!

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  5. Thank you so much for the information and the wonderful poem. The treasures in the so called ordinary day - she says it so well. Yesterday's May Sarton photo and poem were also a joy. I like her poetry very much and also the wonderful journals. I once wrote to her to tell her how much I loved her work and she kindly answered my letter - this was many years ago.
    Appreciate your gifts of good books and information- thanks!
    Mary

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    1. Oh my gosh, MS wrote back to you! Wow. That's wonderful.
      I really do like this poem. She truly does paint pictures using words. I could see it all.

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  6. Nan, how strange - that I have had Mary Oliver on my mind for a number of days. Have been rereading many of her books that are by my old leather chair. They always touch me in a deep way. Thank you for posting this poem.
    I hope and pray she is doing well....

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    1. Me, too. It would seem so with a new book coming out, and a reading! Very hopeful signs.

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  7. I really like her poetry. Thanks for sharing this. (And I think I want poached eggs and buttered toast now!)

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    1. I'll skip the eggs, but I have buttered toast every single morning. :<) One of my fave foods.

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  8. Early mornings are better spent reading Mary Oliver than flipping the pillow waiting for dawn. They, not that I’ve paid them much due, say nothing happens by coincidence. Having great respect for my
    blog friends, I kept seeing her name or her poetry quoted and decided to check her out. I’m pleased to say my friends steered me in the right direction. Contritely I admit you may read on a screen when the piece is worth reading.

    “ . . . through the pale-pink morning light.” from Why I Wake Early (2004).

    So Happy Birthday Mary Oliver and once again, thank you Nan. Not afraid to use the word beautiful.

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    1. She is a wonder, and I'm so happy you are enjoying her work.

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  9. Actually Nan, your blog always changes my world for the better too. You put so much thought into it, thank you so, so much.
    Carole

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  10. How wonderful to read this. I wish I could be there.

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  11. So simple, but yet so very eloquent. I love her writing!

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    1. I think that in a way she is an ambassador for poetry. So many people think it is not understandable or clear, and she shows that yes, it can be in the right hands!

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  12. How wonderful to see and hear her read. And in the heart of fall!

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    1. So very nice to see you. Thinking about you a lot lately.

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  13. Oh my, like some of your commentators, I've been looking for updates on Mary too! I'm so happy to hear she is going to be doing a live reading next month, and that she has a new book of poems out next month! Reason to celebrate in itself, and then that wonderful poem. How does she do it, infuse what she writes with this kind of light that makes the world memorable and beautiful again? Thank you for making my night - I know how gushing this sounds, but I was in a funk as we've just discovered a hole in our foundation of our house through which water was pouring from rainstorms this weekend, and we are waiting for contractors to come and tell us how much damage and how much work, etc. In the midst of my life, poetry is one of my touchstones to remember this moment, this time counts, to be present through all of it. I think I'm going to make a copy of this poem - Swan is one of her books that I haven't picked up yet. Thanks, Nan, for your post.

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    1. This is exactly what she gives to each of us. She heartens, she reminds us to really, really look, and she teaches us to appreciate every thing and every minute. Oh, how I love her work. Thanks for your note. Swan is worth buying. And I look forward to the new one.

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  14. Wonderful, wonderful poem. Now this is the kind of poetry I can understand and relate to! Thank you for sharing it, Nan. I'm going to copy and paste it into a folder to reread at a later date. I really should get some of her books. She is so, so good!

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    1. She is just wonderful. Yes, do buy her books! Her poems are accessible and meaningful.

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