Sunday, August 23, 2009

Your One Wild And Precious Life

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?

Picture found here.


shrimplate said...

My collection of poetry book, which is larger than that in many bookstores, was oddly bereft of any Mary Oliver until you started to feature her.

That has changed. Thank you.

shrimplate said...


In the ever-expanding circles of plural.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Very nice, Heccate.

Gerry said...

Lovely poem. The photo also. It's quite a lovely creature when you take the time to really look at it.

bb mumblings said...

That was beautiful...