Monday Poem, posted in dedication to Elizabeth

The Summer Day

 

                   — Mary Oliver

 

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

 

Mary Oliver reading her work:  

 

Biography of Mary Oliver as posted by her publisher, Beacon Press

http://maryoliver.beacon.org/aboutmary/

 

Ammi note:  Mary Oliver is well known to those of us who write and read poetry, and perhaps known to those who just like poetry now and then.  I posted her today because a friend is going through a rough patch and this seemed like the right poem to share.

 

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