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


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)