Friday, August 21, 2009

More Mary Oliver

A couple of years ago, at the request of my cousin, Jason, I started a yahoo group for my mom's family. She is one of ten children, so you can imagine keeping in touch is sometimes a challenge, especially once you move out to the next generation. So it's been a good tool; folks post little updates, links to photos, recipes, and the like. My uncle, Tom, often posts poems he likes, after which ensues a little impromptu poetry discussion. It's fun. Here is his latest choice, which I found interesting since Mary Oliver has been appearing on our blog regularly. I love the lightness with which she approaches the dark.

Walking to Oak-Head Pond, and Thinking of the Ponds I Will Visit in the Next
Days and Weeks

by Mary Oliver

What is so utterly invisible
as tomorrow?
Not love,
not the wind,

not the inside of stone.
Not anything.
And yet, how often I'm fooled-
I'm wading along

in the sunlight-
and I'm sure I can see the fields and the ponds shining
days ahead-
I can see the light spilling

like a shower of meteors
into next week's trees,
and I plan to be there soon-
and, so far, I am

just that lucky,
my legs splashing
over the edge of darkness,
my heart on fire.

I don't know where
such certainty comes from-
the brave flesh
or the theater of the mind-

but if I had to guess
I would say that only
what the soul is supposed to be
could send us forth

with such cheer
as even the leaf must wear
as it unfurls
its fragrant body, and shines

against the hard possibility of stoppage-
which, day after day,
before such brisk, corpuscular belief,
shudders, and gives way.

"Walking to Oak-Head Pond, and Thinking of the Ponds I Will Visit in the Next
Days and Weeks" by Mary Oliver, from What Do We Know. © Perseus Books Group,

Isn't it beautiful?

Like Matt, I will begin teaching next week. English 112: Exposition and Persuasion. It's an online section, so I never actually meet my students fact to face. Unless of course they show up at my house, which has happened. I'm looking forward to it.


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