I stopped reading poetry years ago; I don’t know why. I used to write it, but that stopped, too. The last one I wrote I published here. I changed it to look more like paragraphs immediately after publishing it for reasons wrapped up in pedantic insecurities. So weird. I’m weird.
But today I was reading a book, trying to push out of my head the thoughts that were taking up too much space, and I was reminded of Mary Oliver’s famous poem, The Summer Day. If you have a pinterest account, you’re familiar with its most famous line. But in case you’re not familiar with the poem or don’t have pinterest, or are in need to a nudge, push, jab, here it is in its entirety.
The picture of the trees is one I took on a walk in Lake Tahoe.
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?