Friday, September 30, 2011

Poetry Friday

We’ve had a couple of gorgeous Maine lake days this week. I am not ready to let go of summer. Today I am celebrating Mary Oliver. These lines begin her poem “The Summer Day.”

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

With the specificity of a grasshopper, Oliver affirms the value of all creation. She begins the poem with three questions and ends with three questions. The last is one of my favorite lines of all time:

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Read the entire poem here

Listen to Oliver read this poem at the very end of a wonderful podcast here

Thanks to Sara for collecting poems today. Read the offerings at Read Write Believe


  1. This one gets me every time. Mary Oliver knows where my heart lives.

    Thank you for sharing one of my favorites.

  2. I loved listening to the podcast and reading the entire poem. Yes, makes us reflect of what we 'plan to do' with our 'wild and precious life.'

    Bursting with vitality. :)

  3. lovely lines...nicely crafted words!


Comments welcome.