Thursday, June 12, 2014

How To Live In This World


I've been spending a lot of time with Mary Oliver's poetry ... what can I say ... it's teaching me all over again how to live in this world. Each one is like a prayer ...

"The Poet With His Face In His Hands"

You want to cry aloud for your
mistakes. But to tell the truth the world
doesn’t need anymore of that sound.

So if you’re going to do it and can’t
stop yourself, if your pretty mouth can’t
hold it in, at least go by yourself across

the forty fields and the forty dark inclines
of rocks and water to the place where
the falls are flinging out their white sheets

like crazy, and there is a cave behind all that
jubilation and water fun and you can
stand there, under it, and roar all you

want and nothing will be disturbed; you can
drip with despair all afternoon and still,
on a green branch, its wings just lightly touched

by the passing foil of the water, the thrush,
puffing out its spotted breast, will sing
of the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.

~ Mary Oliver, from, New and Selected Poems, Volume One



Photograph by Montucky: montucky.wordpress.com


26 comments:

  1. I may have to get a book of Mary Oliver's poetry, the birds know how to live, how to enjoy what they have, what surrounds them, for sure.

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    1. It is always my hope when I post poetry that readers will find a book and indulge further ... :)

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  2. Mary Oliver goes to the source like a laser beam. Thank you for sharing this astounding poem with me, Teresa. I am (this is a good use of the word) gobsmacked. :-)

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    1. Indeed she does. She has taught me so much about life and how to be in the world ... an amazing woman and writer.

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  3. Love this poem, Teresa, especially the last line which speaks of "the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything."

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    1. She is so good ... hard to find the words to describe just how good ... Thank you, George, for commenting.

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  4. Mary Oliver crystalizes the folly of mankind here, doesn't she, and takes us (me) back to the place we should aim to be.
    I love this poem and your posting of it is "spot on", Teresa.

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    1. She knows how to get to the truth in everything in the most beautiful way ... Have a wonderful day, Penny!

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  5. Look to nature for the truth -- barbara

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    1. yes, it is always a reliable source ... :)

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  6. This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing it. I've been spending a lot of time listening to birds sing these days. Their songs always sound joyful. They never sound like laments, whines or groans. I suspect they no nothing of regret and guilt. I reckon they leave that kind of noise to us, preferring instead to sing of the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.

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    1. They are good little teachers, aren't they?

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    2. Among the best. And, by the way, I do know how to spell a little better than my comments and blog posts often suggest. :)

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  7. I like that, and feel the way she does. The world doesn't need more public wailing, but oh, how necessary it can sometimes be to wail privately!

    Pearl

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  8. Dear Teresa, Olivier speaks and observes with such clarity that she "reveals" to us--her readers--the world we seldom claim in all its beauty. Thank you for sharing this revelation. Peace.

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    1. Your articulation of her ability to reveal the world to her readers is something I aspire to ... and will always reach further for what she sees and shares ...

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  9. This absolutely touches my soul.

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    1. I'm so glad, Bill. Hope you're having a wonderful weekend ...

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  10. Mary Oliver is a favorite of mine, too. I had not read that poem before -- thanks for posting it, it's wonderful.

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    1. I'm so glad you visited. It was new to me, as well. Thank you for commenting.

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  11. I love this poem and your picture. -So deeply....

    Hugs
    JetteMajken

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    1. Thank you so much. It's lovely to hear from you.

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