Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"My work is loving the world..." a poem by Mary Oliver

By Mary Oliver
My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

All photos were taken today, a glorious September day, at the Raspberry Hill Community garden.

While on a drive this week I came across a radio show where poetry is read. The host read a Mary Oliver poem that took my breath away. I think her work is deeply beautiful and true.


  1. What beautiful photos--they pair perfectly with the poem. Thank you!

  2. There is honestly no one quite like Mary Oliver!
    Thank you for sharing a glimpse of your beautiful day! It has certainly brightened mine.

  3. Oh yes, that is a good one. She always gets to the core.

  4. Hi Bonnie, Melissa and Valerianna!
    I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed reading this poem like I did. I can't wait to go to the library to check out some of Oliver's books of poetry to pour over. Glad the photo's brightened your day. These past few days have been so beautiful!