Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Poetry Tuesday: "The Summer Day" by Mary Oliver



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.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

--Mary Oliver

36 comments:

Old Kitty said...

Beautiful and positively life-affirming!! Makes me want to run around in a field somewhere lovely!!!!

Are those your toes?!?!!? I love your nail polish colours!! Yay for you! take care
x

Teresa Evangeline said...

This is in my top ten favorite poems. Mary is beyond inspiring. She is my hero. Thank you for this poem, on this day.

nick said...

Those toes resemble mine a few years back after a rough game of tennis on a hard court - only the nails were all black/blue, and eventually dropped off. Yes, it was pretty digusting.

Nancy said...

Fun and funky post today, Betty. The poem is a great reminder to stop and enjoy every day. :)

Tracy said...

very lovely!...I really like the line; Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? truly, it does!
Thanks so much for sharing such an inspiring piece of writing this morning!

Leah J. Utas said...

Inspiring.

Cricket said...

I like Mary Oliver, and this poem, very much, but that's not precisely why I stopped by today.

Last night my wife gave me a book of hers she thought I'd like. Our tastes are very different, but every now and then...

It was one of those NYT bestsellers you've probably heard of, and it was ok. It worked. The writer did what she set out to do.

Even so, what I mostly was thinking as I read was: This reminds me of Betty, except her pieces are much better. Really. Just thought I'd say so :-)

Did I mention you look great today?

Out on the prairie said...

A favorite of mine, I share her a lot.Lovely color selection also.

missing moments said...

I love her poem ... I'll have to go check her other writings out. Thanks!

So I a life should be lived!

Daisy said...

Sounds like a sensible way to spend a summer's day to me! Lovely poem, Betty. Happy Tuesday to you my friend. :)

Seams Inspired said...

Ooh! This one touched me all the way to my heart. Loved it. Thanks Betty! Happy Tuesday! :o)

Annie said...

Lovely!

Catherine said...

Pretty! Just like a rainbow! ;)
xo Catherine

ds said...

One of my favorites by Ms. Oliver. Thank you for making a Tuesday less Tuesday-ish...have a good one!

Madi and Mom said...

MOL BB what a brillant picture of painted toenails to accomany this very nice poem. You are such a fun lady you make us smile.
Mom says she might paint her toenails different colors this week too....but she won't be showing them becasue her feet aren't as pretty as yours. MOL Madi

Talli Roland said...

Wonderful words -- and I love the photo!

Donna said...

Beautiful....
hughugs

Anonymous said...

Your toes make me smile inside and out.

Ms. A said...

Can't remember the last time I sat in grass, much less to lay down in it. Too many serious bugs, for me.

Brian said...

That was good! Hey, I'm off to count toes!

Lenny Lee* said...

hi miss betty! i love this poem. miss mary took me right with her into that grass and i could feel that grasshopper on my hand.
...hugs from lenny

Cheeseboy said...

Enjoyed the poem. Thanks.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

What do you do? Live it to the fullest.

jenny_o said...

Love it. Thank you.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Mary Oliver's one of my favorites.
Hope your Tuesday's been good, Betty.

Marlene said...

Love those painted toenails. :)

Oh wait, was there something I was supposed to read?

Ann said...

I thought for sure there was going to be a rainbow somewhere in that poem :)

faye said...

Nice poem.. but the photo was
simply fun and smile inducing...
try a little more orange and blue
next time.... my faves and they go
with absolutely everything here in
Gator Country.!!

Happy Tuesday...

Baby Sister said...

Oh wow, I really love that one Betty. Sure is a good wake up call.

Lin said...

Sigh. I love Mary Oliver. :) I just do.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I tagged you this morning. I know, I'm evil!

slommler said...

Oh I loved this poem and your toes!! Perfect
Hugs
SueAnn

Tammie Lee said...

such a beautiful poem

Ally said...

I don't know what I love more, the poem or that colorful pedi!

The Adorkable Ditz said...

I like this poem. thanks for sharing!

Susan in the Boonies said...

Oh, gosh, Betty. I just stood up and was held in my husband's arms. His freshly shaven face was so soft, his arms were so strong around me, and his breath in my ear was warm. And I thought,

"He could have died last week. I might never have felt this again - but praise God, I DO!!!"

Your poem is so poignant to me.

There is nothing like a heart attack and bypass surgery to bring life into focus.

Life is a gift!!!!!!!!!! Embrace the gift you have been given!!!