Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"The Leaf and the Cloud" by Mary Oliver

My favorite shy, blushing rose.


And how shall we speak of love
except in the splurge of roses, and the long body
of the river
shining in its silk froth;

and what could be more wonderful
than the agility and the reaching of the fingers of Hannah,
who is only seven days old;

and what could be more comforting than to fold grief
like a blanket---
to fold anger like a blanket;
with neat corners---
to put them into a box of words?

From:  "Work", section 6, page 13.  "The Leaf and the Cloud" by Mary Oliver


One of my roses after a shower.


The high-piled plum-colored storm-heavy clouds
are approaching.
The fly mumbles against the glass.

This is the world.

The hot little bluebirds in the box are getting ready to fly.
This is the world.

The sweet in the parsnip
waits for our praise.

The dragonfly lives its life
without a single error, it also
waits for our praise.

The pale-green moths are pressings
against the screen, fluttering, they are
dying to get in to press their papery bodies
into the light.

This is the world.

From:  "Gravel", section 7, page 43, "The Leaf and the Cloud" by Mary Oliver


"The Leaf and the Cloud" by Mary Oliver is an amazing, breathtaking book-length poem/meditation on mortality as seen through the mirror of nature.  I wish I could post the entire 53 pages of the book, it's so moving, enlightening and astonishing.  I've had this book on my shelf for years and just recently got around to reading it when I discovered it tucked away behind some novels.  I'm so glad I found it. 


Kelly said...

That second photo is gorgeous!!

I like Mary Oliver.

Angela Recada said...

Thank you for this post. Mary Oliver's words are always perfect.

Serena said...

Bee-yew-tee-ful! The poem AND your gorgeous roses.:)

erin said...

the amazing thing about mary oliver (for me) is that it seems as though she is not writing at all but rather being.

i don't know though if the dragonfly or the parsnip care at all for our praise or wait for it. i think our praise is our surest grasp to them, to this physical world. it is for us that it is a gift.

yes, marion. i am in love with mary oliver. i wish i could calm down just a little more to sit beside her.


Marion said...

Oh, these roses are so beautiful. Thank you for posting the photos...I miss having roses. They don't like how dry it usually is here, and blooms dry up quickly. This year we had rain every day...they don't like that either, heh!

Love the poetry, especially this one line..."The fly mumbles against the glass." How perfect! xx

ed pilolla said...

nothing could be more comforting than that, mary oliver. wow.
that blushing rose, i want to nap in that.

Wine and Words said...

How do you fold and package anything? I cannot. Whatever I capture still has life in it, trailing vines that leech out from the corners and curl about as foreigners with cameras about their necks. There is no containing such a flash. I wish there were.


My Inner Chick said...

---love Oliver!
Looove this blog, as well :)
...and the song!!!

quid said...

What a find! And your photos are exceptional with this post....


Terresa said...

I haven't read this yet, it's going on my 'to read' list.

Laurie said...

I envy you, making poetry such a part of your life, and having this great knowledge of it to draw from.