Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Some Questions You Might Ask by Mary Oliver

Some Questions You Might Ask
By Mary Oliver

Is the soul solid, like iron?
Or is it tender and breakable, like
the wings of a moth in the beak of an owl?
Who has it, and who doesn't?
I keep looking around me.
The face of the moose is as sad
as the face of Jesus.
The swan opens her white wings slowly.
In the fall, the black bear carries leaves into the darkness.
One question leads to another.
Does it have a shape? Like an iceberg?
Like the eye of a hummingbird?
Does it have one lung, like the snake and the scallop?
Why should I have it, and not the anteater
who loves her children?
Why should I have it, and not the camel?
Come to think of it, what about maple trees?
What about the blue iris?
What about all the little stones, sitting alone in the moonlight?
What about roses, and lemons, and their shining leaves?
What about the grass?


Still having issues with blogger.  I have to post fast and run or it kicks me offline. 



Kass said...

Mary Oliver is a wonder, as is this poem.

Eric 'Bubba' Alder said...

These sound like questions for St. Peter. If I ever get there, I'll be so grateful (or is that amazed?) that I doubt I'll stop to ask any questions.

Delightful! You always find the best stuff, Marion! :)

Wine and Words said...

Very good question...the form of soul. I am still searching for a vessel to adequately hold mine.

Beautiful poem Marion. Thanks for sharing!

Kelly said...

Ooooo...another wonderful Mary Oliver poem. I love her writing!

I sure hope you get your Blogger problems resolved soon! I know it's frustrating!!

quid said...

You may be posting fast... but with poems like this, you are leaving a lasting memory.

A pox on your blogger curse!!!


I'm sure its fine now.


Terresa said...

I appreciate how Oliver asks about the lemons, the stones, the iris, the grass, at the end of this poem. Her questions (as I'm sure she intended) lead me on, to more questions.

erin said...

This is one of my all time favorite poems.

"The face of the moose is as sad
as the face of Jesus."



Margaret Pangert said...

Hi Marion~
Too funny that we both posted Mary Oliver poems on the same day! I just love her, and you have found a truly wonderful one. Lovely questions. I was especially drawn to the blue iris...did you know that each flower species has one color of the spectrum missing? Blue iris but no blue rose, red rose but no red iris, etc. So delicious, these questions! Love me

Phoenix said...

Love this poem. Love it. I love her spirituality that shines like light through most of her work.

I do think that everything has a soul...even those leaves of grass. :)

Serena said...

Sorry you're still having Blogger issues, but SO glad you were able to stay on long enough to get that poem posted. I ADORE it!

Lilith said...

I've never seen this Mary Oliver poem, it's wonderful. Thank you.

Me said...


Laurie said...

Really? You might need to try Windows Live and see if it is any better. Sorry about your blogger problems! Lots of questions in that poem.

Janelle Goodwin said...

What a poignant question. It begs the question, "don't we all have a soul, human and creatures, the grasses and trees?" Beautiful. Thank you, Marion.