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29 April 2007

Poets take us on a journey

Night_sky2National Poetry Month is coming to an end. Our Poemapalooza will end tomorrow, the last guests leaving our party, continuing on their journey as are we all. Poet Mary Oliver prepares us for the ongoing journey, the one I'm already on, and you, too. Come, let's rent a vintage Airstream and go together.

The Journey

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

-Mary Oliver

from Dreamwork in: New and Selected Poems. Beacon Press, Boston, 1992.
[image from here]



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This is the poem that my new friend Katryn copied for me just after we met through my blog. I had never heard of Mary Oliver. K and I are now best of friends and support each other in our quests to save our own lives.

Gasp. This is so beautiful. I was just writing along these lines today, but for all the words I spilt, it doesn't come close to what Mary Oliver can deliver--thank you.

thanks for posting my favorite!

I just blogged a Dawn Markova poem but had almost put this exact poem down instead. Eerie. Love it.

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