Posted in 2019, Random Musings, Ruminations

RIP Mary Oliver, and Thanks…

Versifier, rhymester, sonneteer, lyricist are all synonyms for Poet, a person who writes poems.

The second meaning of the word Poet is “a person possessing special powers of imagination or expression” and that defines Mary Oliver, who passed away Thursday at 83.  She published 30plus poetry collections, won the Pulitzer Prize, the Guggenheim Fellowship, National Book Awards, and was undeniably the country’s best-selling poet.  Even if you’re not a poetry-lover, you have probably still seen the popular last lines of her poem “The Summer Day” in all of your inspirational pinterest boards:

Though I now own 6 volumes of her poetry, I didn’t discover her until the 90’s (the Summer Day line was written in 1963)  when I bought “New and Collected Poems”.   There was a poem in that book that stopped me in my tracks, that made me re-read and look to heaven with gratitude for the Word that I needed so much at that time…and I have needed it again and again.   It still reminds me of where I was and how I got away. It will always encourage me to keep on keeping on the journey of my soul.

THE JOURNEY (MARY OLIVER)

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

 

I could only hope that my writing could touch the hearts of others in the way she touched mine,  but perhaps someone reading this today will hear her words speak to them and determine to save the only life you can save…

Peace

 

One thought on “RIP Mary Oliver, and Thanks…

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