Friday, July 16, 2010

Mindful by Mary Oliver

by Mary Oliver

Every day
I see or hear
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for -
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world -
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant -
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these -
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean's shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

From Why I Wake Early


  1. Hi Nancy,

    What a thought provoking poem. I don't think I have ever read anything by this poet.

    I hope you find this community as welcoming and supportive as I am. This is my third Poetry Friday and I am still a rookie writer and a fairly new blogger. We have many things in common - 4th grade teacher, picture book fanatic, and lover of pen, paper, and words - not a grandmother yet, but looking forward to it! Also a lover of everything outdoors!


  2. I love Mary Oliver! Thank you for the gift of her poem today. And welcome to Poetry Friday!! (I'm ALSO a 4th grade teacher!!!)

  3. I copied the poem and sent it to myself as an email. It's a keeper! Thanks, and welcome to P.F.!

  4. This is a lovely way to remember who we are - "a needle in the haystack of light" - just what I needed to read today. Thanks and welcome to Poetry Friday!

  5. I also came here via Poetry Friday, and love the poem and picture and reminder. Mary Oliver pulls together so much of what I love.

  6. Every time I read this poem, I hear more in it. Thanks for sharing, and welcome to Poetry Friday!