Monday, May 3, 2010

Today's poem - The Bleeding-heart by Mary Oliver

The Bleeding-heart
by Mary Oliver
from New and Selected Poems
Volume Two

I know a bleeding-heart plant that has thrived
for sixty years if not more, and has never
missed a spring without rising and spreading
itself into a glossy bush, with many small red
hearts dangling. Don't you think that deserves
a little thought? The woman who planted it
has been gone for a long time, and everyone
who saw it in that time has also died or moved
away and so, like so many stories, this one can't
get finished properly. Most things that are
important, have you noticed, lack a certain
neatness. More delicious, anyway, is to
remember my grandmother's pleasure when
the dissolve of winter was over and the green
knobs appeared and began to rise, and to cre-
ate their many hearts. One would say she was
a simple woman, made happy by simple
things. I think this was true. And more than
once, in my long life, I have wished to be her.


  1. "Most things that are
    important, have you noticed, lack a certain neatness." Oh, so true.

  2. I am made happy by simple things too...loved this poem!

  3. Hi Nan: I loved your posting today. There is much truth in it, for the older I get, I find it is the simple things that give me the greatest joy in life.

  4. Susan, Staci, and Donna, I'm so pleased you liked the offering. She is just wonderful.

  5. I encountered Mary Olivers' poems at a Writers' Retreat in Wentworth, NH more than a decade ago--I like them, though I don't read poetery in any quantity.
    This essay is particularly meaningful at this time, when I am dicovering the delights of a garden created by a woman who passed away a few years ago.
    She didn't plant a bleeding heart--but if my gardening budget and my back hold out--there will be one another year.

  6. Nan~ I love when you post poems from Mary Oliver. Your postings always send me to my poetry shelf so that I can read more from this favorite poet!

  7. Morning's Minion, I'd bring you over some of mine if we were closer! When we moved to our country home there were no plantings at all except for a big lilac and some ferns. We've had to make all our gardens ourselves so we never had that connection with past gardens.

    Marcia, isn't she just wonderful. Achingly beautiful, as they say.

  8. Oh! Coincidence... there's a bleeding heart pic on my blog too, 28th April post. Sadly, it isn't 60 years old though! Unlike me, who is heading rapidly that way...

  9. Very funny, Cath! My photo isn't very good because it was so darn windy. The wind didn't stop all day so I finally just posted the blurry pic.


I'll answer your comments as soon as I possibly can. Please do come back if you've asked a question.
Also, you may comment on any post, no matter how old, and I will see it.