I read, well, this is an understatement, a lot of poems. I've never found a better poem for the Summer Solstice than this one. When you read it, it helps to know that Oliver's talking about corn, although corn is not the subject of the poem.
Every summer I listen and look under the sun's brass and even into the moonlight, but I can't hear
anything, I can't see anything -- not the pale roots digging down, nor the green stalks muscling up, nor the leaves deepening their damp pleats,
nor the tassels making, nor the shucks, nor the cobs. And still, every day,
the leafy fields grow taller and thicker -- green gowns lofting up in the night, showered with silk.
And so, every summer, I fail as a witness, seeing nothing -- I am deaf too to the tick of the leaves,
the tapping of downwardness from the banyan feet -- all of it happening beyond any seeable proof, or hearable hum.
And, therefore, let the immeasurable come. Let the unknowable touch the buckle of my spine. Let the wind turn in the trees, and the mystery hidden in the dirt
swing through the air. How could I look at anything in this world and tremble, and grip my hands over my heart? What should I fear?
One morning in the leafy green ocean the honeycomb of the corn's beautiful body is sure to be there.
From West Wind: Poems and Prose Poems, by Mary Oliver. Published by Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. Copyright 1997 by Mary Oliver.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."