Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Poetry Tuesday: "In Blackwater Woods" by Mary Oliver

In Blackwater Woods

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

~ Mary Oliver ~


Teresa Evangeline said...

I so love Mary Oliver's poems, and this one couldn't be more perfect right now.

Lin said...

Wow. And that's all I can say to that one.....wow.

So perfect. I love Mary Oliver poems. They have a way of just settling into the inside of me.

Anne Gallagher said...

That's so beautiful. And so very true. Thanks for sharing, Betty.

Old Kitty said...

Oh BB! What a most beautiful profound and lovely rhythmic poem. I loved it! thank you! Take care

Out on the prairie said...

I was just reading Mary last night. I enjoy her work.

Leah J. Utas said...

Yes. That's exactly it.

Unknown said...

The last two verses sum up life very well!

Pamela Gold said...

This is so inspirational. What a great message. Thank you for introducing this to me.

ds said...

One of my favorites. Thank you.

Nicole said...

I love the shadow in that picture. :-) Hope you are hanging in there. Wish we lived closer, would be great to get together for coffee or tea and commisserate (is that even a word? lol)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's life all right.

Brian said...

That is a terrific poem!

My Mind's Eye said...

WOW BB that is a powerful message...
We hope jury duty was just a one day affair.
Hugs Madi and Mom

Jayne said...

Gosh I love that Mary Oliver. We think it, but she sure knows how to say it. ;)

Pat Tillett said...

It's an amazing piece of writing (so is most that she writes). I also like the photo!

Ms. A said...

Very true, although the letting it go is the hardest part.

Marlene said...

Popping by to say hello. Sorry I haven't been around the past few days....needed a break, so I took one. I hope things are getting better for you. HUGS.

Sally Wessely said...

Love her poetry. Thanks for sharing this. Yes, the hard part is letting go.

SUGAR MOON said...

I love Mary Oliver poems too and this one is excellent. Thanks for sharing.

Connie said...

That was lovely, Betty. I hope you had a good day today. :)

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Mary Oliver is so inspiring. Thanks for the poem, dear Betty.
Love to you,

Sarah said...

Letting go is the hardest part to learn and do. I love both pictures!

Baby Sister said...

Oh wow. Such an amazing poem. Such. *hugs*

Lazarus said...

I'm sure I don't appreciate it as much as I should, nor do I contemplate the full meaning, but I'd never read any poetry if it weren't for your blog Bossy Betts, thanks!

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing this with me. I'm understanding what you have to say and the media out.

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