Happy Birthday, Mary Oliver!

Ocean-Twilight_0960K Henry Domke

Photo by Henry Domke

Mary Oliver is one of my favorite poets, and I learned this morning on The Writer’s Almanac that it’s her Birthday. So in her honor, here is one of her lovely poems, with an accompanying photo by the talented Henry Domke.


What is the good life now? Why,
look here and consider
the moon’s white crescent

rounding, slowly, over
the half month to still
another perfect circle–

the shining eye
that lightens the hills,
that lays down the shadows

of the branches of the trees,
that summons the flowers
to open their sleepy faces and look up

into the heavens.
I used to hurry everywhere,
and leaped over running creeks.

There wasn’t
time enough for all the wonderful things
I could think of to do

in a single day. Patience
comes to the bones
before it takes root in the heart

as another good idea.
I say this
as I stand in the woods

and study the patterns
of the moon shadows,
or stroll down to the waters

that now, late summer, have also
caught the fever, and hardly move
from one eternity to another.


From:  New and Selected Poems, Volume Two
Copyright ©:  Mary Oliver

If you want to learn more about Oliver beyond what Wikipedia might tell, I suggest this article, Mary Oliver and the Nature-esque.