Poetry Friday: Mary Oliver

Good morning Poetry Friday.
Thank you to Jama Rattigan @ Jama’s Alphabet Soup for hosting this week.


I’ve had the wind knocked out of me. What I thought was true isn’t.  For my students, and my own children, it is worse. They don’t know the ups and downs as well. Their eyes have been downcast.  Because they are children, they are powerless. And that is the reason to be there. That gives purpose. To help keep the path lit. To help along  on an uncertain road.

I’ve been reading Mary Oliver. Her words strike deep and have allowed me to regain composure and strength for coming days.

I will try
by Mary Oliver

I will try.
I will step from the house to see what I see
and hear and I will praise it.
I did not come into this world
to be comforted.
I came, like red bird, to sing.
But I’m not red bird, with his head-mop of flame
and the red triangle of his mouth
full of tongue and whistles,
but a woman whose love has vanished,
who thinks now, too much, of roots
and the dark places
where everything is simply holding on.
But this too, I believe, is a place
where God is keeping watch
until we rise, and step forth again and–
but wait. Be still. Listen!
Is it red bird? Or something
inside myself, singing?


13 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Mary Oliver

  1. Such a powerful poem. In combination with your own words I really seemed to be able to understand how you are feeling – despite your country and an ocean between us. So glad that even in despair, your singing voice is still going to be there…

  2. Thank you for the lovely, inspirational poem. In my own life I have found that nature never disappoints me, but always inspires me. I hope you will find that song within you; we need to hear your voice.

  3. Mary Oliver always manages to take my heart and squeeze it. We must open our mouths again and sing. That is what we are here for!

  4. If we are in despair, reading Mary Oliver’s wise words always share some hope, some small thing that will help and hold us close. Thanks for this, Julieanne.

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