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Fridays Remain for Poetry

Earlier this week, I stumbled across this quote from Mary Oliver . . . 

"Poetry is a life-cherishing force.  For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry."
            -- Mary Oliver

As always, she captures the essence of the thing, y'know?


Yesterday, after a day of rain, I was out with the dogs . . . just out around our cabin . . . and I found this little violet, working it's way up through the detritus of dead leaves and old grass to bloom.  Just for me.


It's just a common blue violet, something I get a little annoyed about in my garden beds at home (because they are invasive where you don't want them to be). But they're always charming. Especially in early spring when not much else is blooming.  

And, well.  Especially this year.

Anyway.  Seeing that little blue violet reminded me of one of my favorite Mary Oliver poems -- about fleeting beauty and blooming despite inevitable oblivion.  Here it is.  A little Mary Oliver for your Friday!


Moccasin Flower
Mary Oliver

All my life,
  so far,
      I have loved
          more than one thing, 
including the mossy hooves
   of dreams, including
      the spongy litter
         under the tall trees.
In spring
   the moccasin flowers
      reach for the crackling
         lick of the sun
and burn down.  Sometimes
   in the shadows,
      I see the hazy eyes,
         the lamb-lips
of oblivion,
   its deep drowse,
      and I can imagine a new nothing
         in the universe,
the matted leaves splitting,
   open, revealing
      the black planks
         of the stairs.
But all my life -- so far --
   I have loved best
      how the flowers rise
         and open, how
the pink lungs of their bodies
   enter the fire of the world
      and stand there shining
         and willing -- the one
thing they can do before
   they shuffle forward
      into the floor of darkness, they
         become the trees.


My best wishes to all of you . . . for a weekend filled with peace and solace and things that bring you joy.
And maybe some poetry.


Information about the poet can be found here.


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Beautiful! And so perfect! Have a marvelous weekend!


A perfect poem for this May Day in Ct. Enjoy your weekend!

Margene Smith

Mary always says the right thing so beautifully. Enjoy your weekend in the north!


I'm so happy that Fridays remain for poetry, especially because you and Mary Oliver seem to know just what will speak to me. And I love how the striking blue of that violet has risen and opened. Thank you!
P.S. I've just received my very own copy of Poetry of Presence and I am now a very happy poetry reader!


Right back at you my friend. Thank-you!


What a wonderful poem, Mary Oliver certainly had an incredible way of creating images and feelings.


That Mary Oliver -- she was so good with words! Thank you, as always, for sharing them!


We had lots of those in our Minneapolis lawn. Smokey considered them weeds, I liked them. Here in the woods I encourage them wherever they pop up. Hardy and dependable, unlike many carefully cultivated plants.


Blue violets and Mary Oliver—two favorites!

Kathy Boyer

oh I should get out my Mary Oliver book!! She is so clear about what her poems mean! I love that

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