We learn dual languages: one for home and one for “out there”
and we take our strange scents to school
and they pinch their noses: What’s that?
we like jeans, rock music, movies, and slang
and we are scolded for peculiar haircuts and behavior
and they grab us and ask: who are you?
What do we owe each other?
Old bean pod, you dried up thing
no longer vibrant in our eyes
who’d want your monochrome self
bent, cracking and dull
beans spill out and
get buried in the earth
the sky cries
and a new life begins
I take one every morning
sometimes they go down easy and
sometimes they’re hard to swallow
but poems are my vitamins
“Sitting quietly, doing nothing, Spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.”
Little black canine – my loving shadow
O Growler of Other Dogs and
One of Insatiable Appetite
Your spirit is ceaselessly bold
yet your haunches have caused affright
Oliver, who cited Walt Whitman as an influence, is best known for her awe-filled, often hopeful, reflections on and observations of nature. “Mary Oliver’s poetry is an excellent antidote for the excesses of civilization,” wrote one reviewer for the Harvard Review, “for too much flurry and inattention, and the baroque conventions of our social and professional lives. She is a poet of wisdom and generosity whose vision allows us to look intimately at a world not of our making.”
Her honors include an American Academy of Arts & Letters Award, a Lannan Literary Award, the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Prize and Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Oliver held the Catharine Osgood Foster Chair for Distinguished Teaching at Bennington College until 2001. She lived for over forty years in Provincetown, Massachusetts, with her partner Molly Malone Cook, a photographer and gallery owner. After Cook’s death in 2005, Oliver later moved to the southeastern coast of Florida. Oliver died of cancer at the age of eighty-three in Hobe Sound, Florida, on January 17, 2019.
*This contents of this post come from Poets.org
Mary Oliver reminds me to look to nature whenever I feel humans are letting the world down. Rejoice in the strength of the trees and the persistent bloom of flowers.