Friday, February 13, 2009

"The Summer Day" by Mary Oliver

We occasionally are reminded of the fragility of life and the preciousness of time. A close friend that I have known for 25 years just lost her brother who was in his early 40's. She is one of a group that I have special affection for and consider life long friends. When I think of them I am reminded of various points in my youth and young adulthood. I think it is important to ask ourselves what are we doing with our time and how do we treat those close to us. I am hoping my Daughter and Son, pictured here with his two younger cousins, find what I have found with my friends. Relationships that started while running across a field somewhere. This poem really hit home.

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?


SueMo said...

For a few minutes wach day, I get lost in your photographs. When it is a cold day in January, I am viewing vibrant pictures of flowers in full bloom and somehow I am warmer inside.

4thBG said...

Thanks SueMo.

oldpoetsoul said...

Thank you so much for posting this poem.

4thBG said...

Mary Oliver, like Carl Sandburg, has a very visual style that really appeals to me.