Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Today's poem by Mary Oliver

Lines Written in the Days
 of Growing Darkness

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends

into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don't say
it's easy, but 
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?

So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day,

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.

Mary Oliver
from A Thousand Mornings, 2012


  1. I just got this book too. I haven't come to this yet. Can't wait to hold it and savor every word. Love the painting in your header.

    1. Isn't the cover wonderful, perfect? I can read only one poem a day or every several days. I'm sure there will be more showing up here. :<)
      I, too, love the picture.

  2. "every crisping day" Isn't that just how these days are? How this remarkable woman seems to capture just what I've been feeling, Nan. I'm about to go into this day with all its golden charm. These words will follow me out the door. Thank you for posting this. Love the banner.

    1. I thought that same thing. Perfect, perfect word. She is a wonder. That's the gift of a good poet, I think. To capture our feelings in her words. A little miracle, really. Not so much 'golden charm' here. Gray, rainy, leaves all off the trees. ;<) But I love this kind of day just as well, maybe better. It feels poetic.
      If you click on the blog header picture tab, you can read the name and painter. It really captures fall, doesn't it.

    2. Thanks, Nan. I'm off to see more of Albert Bierstadt's paintings. This one as if he was was with on my road trip last week.

  3. Replies
    1. I am going to be reading the poems very slowly. She is so, so good.

  4. What a remarkable poem! I kept reading it over and over, ever slower, not really realizing I was savoring every word. Lovely.

    1. Isn't that just a perfect way to read a poem. I just loved reading what you wrote.

  5. She is amazing. Thanks for sharing. Also, love the header. Ahhhh ....

  6. Your header pic has such an autumnal atmosphere, lovely.
    Thanks for the Mary Oliver, my favourite poet.

    I love her lines

    'how the vivacity of what was is married

    to the vitality of what will be?'

    1. Those words struck me, too. And also 'crisping' and 'mash.' She is just so great.

  7. Replies
    1. Josefin Sans
      I really like it a lot. I'm glad it comes through well on other computers. :<)

  8. This poem makes me ache inside. I love it. And this, so profound:

    how the vivacity of what was is married

    to the vitality of what will be?

    I also love your blog header image.

    1. She chooses the perfect, perfect words.

  9. 'Into a rich mash', isn't that wonderful? She just gets better and better. Greedily, I just want to know more and more about her, she seems to be one of the sanest people on the planet at the moment.
    Thank you so much for posting.
    The virginia creeper here is nearly bare but the ash and the beech are still green, I suppose the very wet summer we had is responsible for this.


    1. It is wonderful. And I agree with all you said.

  10. I have to admit that I learn most of what I know about poetry right here on your blog, Nan, and had never heard of Mary Oliver until I read her poems here. Last night, we hosted a get together with visiting friends from Massachusetts and right here on our New Mexico patio, watching the moon rise up over the mountains, we were treated to a reading of "When I Am Among the Trees." To the line about "the beech, the oaks, and the pines" our friend Annie added the words "and the pecans" in honor of the orchards surrounding us. It was a pretty magical moment, and I thought of you. Thank you, as always, for your wonderful blog. I am hoping that you are well and safe from Hurricane Sandy.

    1. Wow, what a great life you lead. Wish I had been there.
      The storm mostly passed us by. Mrs Bale will probably post. :<)


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!

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