Friday, November 4, 2011

Today's poem by Mary Oliver

Song for Autumn
by Mary Oliver

In the deep fall
don't you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don't you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
warm caves, begin to think

of the birds that will come - six, a dozen - to sleep
inside their bodies? And don't you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.


  1. I have been reading my Mary Oliver poem books this afternoon.
    A misty rain, cold and windy day.
    Not winter yet but I can feel it in the air.

  2. I really love this poem. Thanks for sharing.

  3. She is such a treasure.
    Thanks for printing this!

  4. Mary does have a way of painting lovely pictures with words and then bringing you into the painting too.

  5. Good morning! Lovely post! And I love your header photograph!

  6. Beautifully written. A poem that echoes my own thoughts at this time of year.

    Your new header photo is lovely.

  7. What an amazing coincidence, Ernestine! We have had sun every day so far in November! Amazing. The ground is bare, the trees are bare, the air is crisp and clear. Perfect weather in my book.

    Sarah, you're welcome. I so love it, too.

    Pamela, I told Tom that I think she's the best poet, ever. I don't think anyone can touch her words, meanings, style. And she is clear and understandable. Not too common.

    Lisa, such a beautiful thing to say.

    Linda, thanks for coming by and leaving a note.

    Barbara, that is MO's gift, I think. She expresses what we think and feel. Genius.

  8. lovely poem ... lovely photos (esp like the stacked birch wood).

  9. I absolutely loved the poem...totally different perspective of the season's changes.

  10. One of my favourite poets, thanks so much for posting this.

  11. From what I've seen of Mary Oliver's work so far, it's wonderful. Thanks for sharing this one, it's new to me. I love the image of the leaves wanting to touch earth. I love her perspective on nature and how she weaves reflections on life into it.

  12. Thanks, Dawn. We don't actually have much birch - it just happened to be on that end. Nicely photogenic. :<)

    Mare, it really is lovely.

    Cait, you're welcome, and she may be my most favorite ever.

    HKatz, if you'd like to read more of MO's work here, you may click on the 'poems' tab under the blog header photo, and scroll down. There are quite a few. I do think she is wonderful.

  13. Beautiful post and poem from Mary Oliver, whose words and images and I becoming more and more familiar with. Thanks, Nan.

  14. As Mare said above, it's a totally different perspective on the change of autumn to winter. Winter is anticipated as the beginning of something good, as opposed to being the end of things.

  15. Christy, that's exactly it, isn't it? We all get stuck in the same old metaphors - spring new life, autumn slowing of life, winter end of life, and there is just so much more.
    I also think we don't value the idea of 'rest' which is a little of what winter offers us. A time we can enjoy without participating - but participating is certainly an option if one wants. Mary Oliver is so wise, and has the gift to be able (and willing) to share that wisdom.

  16. I found some wonderful recordings of Mary Oliver reading her own writing on recently. I am loving the opportunity to hear her poetry in her own voice. Thank you for sharing this beauty bit of word song.

  17. SO good to hear from you, Aisling! I actually bought a cd of her reading but though I loved her voice there were no breaks between the poems, and I just couldn't listen to it. I'd love to see her in person.


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