‘The Summer Day’ by Mary Oliver

Happy Friday Folks! I hope you’re all having a fab evening whatever you’re doing. I’m going to do a wee extra bit of posting tonight as I’ll not be updating over the weekend due to assessment deadlines and my brain already protesting that it is being overworked and underpaid.

The first poem I am sharing tonight is by the wonderful Mary Oliver. I could not celebrate National Poetry Month without paying homage to a poet whose work always leaves me thinking far deeper than I was before. The hardest part is choosing just one to share! Her poetry is timeless and I hope that one day my daughter will rifle through the pages of the collections I own and find her own favourites that speak to her and bring her comfort and pause for thought.

I hope you enjoy the poem I have chosen to share for you all.


‘The Summer Day’ by Mary Oliver

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 you one wild and precious life?


References:

Oliver, M. (1992) ‘The Summer Day’ from New and Selected Poems: Volume One. Boston: Beacon Press, 94

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