Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I am Nobody's Poet

This photo was taken by Kristiana on a visit to some fellow Williams grads who live 90 minutes away from us in South Carolina. The sound of water cascading over rocks mixed with the sound of children laughing - a glorious symphony. A glorious day.

But Mary Oliver is.
An awesome poet, in fact.
Here are two of my favorite Oliver poems.


Another morning and I wake with thirst
for the goodness I do not have. I walk
out to the pond and all the way God has
given us such beautiful lessons. Oh Lord,
I was never a quick scholar but sulked
and hunched over my books past the
hour and the bell; grant me, in your
mercy, a little more time. Love for the
earth and love for you are having such a
long conversation in my heart. Who
knows what will finally happen or
where I will be sent, yet already I have
given a great many things away, expect-
ing to be told to pack nothing, except the
prayers which, with this thirst, I am
slowly learning.


It doesn't have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

Both poems are taken from Mary Oliver's book entitled Thirst.

I couldn't have said it better myself.
I'm oh so glad she said it oh so well.


Amy said...


I love the photo and the poems. Boy, do they ever sing to my own heart!

I am actually thinking of posting a Henry Nouwen prayer on my blog today. It is in my devotional book this month.

Thanks for sharing!


Bad Alice said...

I love Mary Oliver, too! Her poems are so natural and graceful.

Our Family of Five said...

I love the picture, and the poems. :)

Lisa said...

Hi :-) Love the Praying poem. Thank you for sharing it.

I'm sitting here marveling at how your posts have changed, and are now being enriched by the addition of your photographs! It's nice to be able to peer into another dimension of your fascinating world. :-)