The art of poetry.

"Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful."
- Rita Dove, 1952 - present.

A collection of poesies for the poetic souls.

There will be no new posts; this tumblelog is is now an archive.

Forty Years by Mary Oliver

2nd July 11

pausesandsilences:

for forty years
the sheets of white paper have
passed under my hands and I have tried
     to improve their peaceful
 
emptiness putting down
little curls little shafts
of letters words
     little flames leaping

not one page
was less to me than fascinating
discursive full of cadence
     its pale nerves hiding

in the curves of the Qs
behind the soldierly Hs
in the webbed feet of the Ws
     forty years

and again this morning as always
I am stopped as the world comes back
wet and beautiful I am thinking
     that language

is not even a river
is not a tree is not a green field
is not even a black ant traveling
     briskly modestly

from day to day from one
golden page to another.

—Mary Oliver, “Forty Years,” from West Wind (Houghton Mifflin, 1997)

(Source: pauses-and-silences)

The Journey by Mary Oliver

21st September 10

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

(via melancholynotes)

(Source: growing-orbits)

When Death Comes by Mary Oliver

15th January 10

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measles-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.