Writing & Reading

Mary Oliver Praises and May Day Wishes

I feel safe with a Mary Oliver book in my hands. I feel held, understood, though the words in the slim rectangle claim, they are certain of nothing.

I feel whole—as though the slender book were a shard of my own soul returned to me at last. I feel safety and gratitude.  I feel assured and reassured that quietude and nature are true friends.

That words matter as much as I want them to, that they can find a home in a stranger’s heart, miles apart and years away. That they can fit so delicately on a tongue—perching, balancing, dancing. That they can bring forth laughter and sighs. That something so simple—plain text printed in black on a tender sheaf of white paper can bring to me a world that is both mine and another’s.

In case you couldn’t tell, I’ve been reading the poetry of Mary Oliver this week, specifically her book Blue Horses, published last year.  If you know her work, you also know she doesn’t need me singing her praises, but if you don’t, you might want to check some of it out.

On May 1st, when I was a child, my sister and I used to gather flowers from our mother’s gardens and give them to our friends and family members.  So, here are some May Day flowers for you—gorse from Sneem, Ireland.  2015-05-01 GorseAccording to Edward Bach, the vibrations of gorse help one to feel hope in the face of despair; to realize one’s soul potential, even in the face of difficulty.  This is particularly appropriate as many people are currently celebrating Beltane—a Celtic celebration of spring and new life.  So, I also wish you revitalization—in whatever form that you need it.


2 thoughts on “Mary Oliver Praises and May Day Wishes”

  1. Thanks for the intro to Mary Oliver. I attended college as an English major (an under-read one) in Cleveland, her birthplace, in the 1990’s. My too-brief contact with poetry didn’t discover M.Oliver. I’m going to get a book from the library and soak up more of her nature-loving poetry. I look forward to each of your blog entries.


  2. You are most welcome! Two of my favorite poems of hers are Wild Geese and The Journey. I hope you find some that speak to you. Thanks so much for your words about my blog–you are very kind.


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