Thursday, January 24, 2019

Mary Oliver

As you have likely heard, poet Mary Oliver recently died. I love her poetry, how it imbues the natural world with everyday magic, and inspires/invites/insists that we pay attention. I find that her poems pair exceedingly well with tea. They invite me to pause and to take notice of the place I inhabit.

Here is one of my favorite poems, from among many, many favorites:

It Was Early
~Mary Oliver, from Evidence, 2009 and published again in Devotions, 2017

It was early,
   which has always been my hour
        to begin looking
           at the world

and of course,
     even in the darkness,
        to begin
           listening into it,

     under the pines
        where the owl lives
           and sometimes calls out

as I walk by,
    as he did
        on this morning.
           So many gifts!

What do they mean?     
     In the marshes
        where the pink light 
           was just arriving

the mink
     with his bristle tail
       was stalking
           the soft-eared mice,

and in the pines
     the cones were heavy,
        each one
           ordained to open.

Sometimes I need
     only to stand
        wherever I am
           to be blessed.

Little mink, let me watch you.   
     Little mice, run and run.
        Dear pine cone, let me hold you
           as you open.

1 comment:

Marilyn Miller said...

What a sweet poem. I love the way she notices the little things. Her poetry definitely causes us to sit quietly and sip a cup of tea. I have even used her poetry in worship at church.