Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mary Oliver, poet

I've been reading a great deal of Mary Oliver's poetry lately. Firstly I love her work and have for years, secondly we are reading and talking about her at the poetry group tomorrow, and mainly because she rarely reads in public but will be reading at the community college here next Wednesday and I'm eager to hear her. She's known as a nature poet but as I've been reading a few books borrowed from the college library which are more recent, I find that she had been profoundly touched by the death of her companion and the poems while still based in nature, have become deeper and more thoughtful and philosophical. Watching an artist, poet, writer, painter, quilt artist, whoever, grow and deepen and find new things to express is a moving experience for the observer

But, a little lighter, in her book "What Do We Know?" here are a few lines that do what a poet ought to do, at the very least, which is show us how to look at something we hadn't thought of in that way. We all live those these gray, wet days. This morning was just such a morning, which happily cleared up around noon. But here is the beginning of "Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me" which seemed so apt this morning.

Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly, saying

what joy
to come falling
out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again

in a new way
on the earth!
That's what it said
as it dropped ...

So said I to myself -- get over it. It's not all about you.

1 comment:

kasscho said...

How lucky you get to be in Mary Oliver's presence. She is a favorite so it's nice to have more background on her. Hope you enjoy it. Hope you talk about it on your blog.