Everything in 18 Lines of Text

As National Poetry Month continues, we move from yesterday’s syllabic meter of Elizabeth Bridges to free verse from a current popular and Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet, Mary Oliver

Everything
by Mary Oliver


I want to make poems that say right out, plainly,
what I mean, that don’t go looking for the
laces of elaboration, puffed sleeves. I want to
keep close and use often words like
heavy, heart, joy, soon, and to cherish
the question mark and her bold sister


the dash. I want to write with quiet hands. I
want to write while crossing the fields that are
fresh with daises and everlasting and the
ordinary grass. I want to make poems while thinking of
the bread of heaven and the
cup of astonishment; let them be


songs in which nothing is neglected,
not a hope, not a promise. I want to make poems
that look into the earth and the heavens
and see the unseeable. I want them to honor
both the heart of faith, and the light of the world;
the gladness that says, without any words, everything.
<

From:
New and Selected Poems, Volume Two
by Mary Oliver, Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2005, p. 4.


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About notjustweather

Dave Linder: Meteorologist, computer scientist, writer... and one who enjoys a well-timed quick quip.

Posted on April 16, 2008, in Poetry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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