Friday, September 26, 2008

Saying goodbye to Summer: What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

This past Monday was the first day of Autumn.

You wouldn't necessarily know it around here these past few days, but there have been some indications recently of Summer beginning its retreat.

I'm only getting around to sharing it now, but on Monday My Friend Topic was kind enough to send along a poem to mark Summer's passing.

I hope the poem resonates with you as it has with me...


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 your one wild and precious life?

- - from New and Selected Poems, 1992
Beacon Press, Boston, MA

2 comments:

Timmy said...

well, I don't know if I should be telling you this, but I would like to have died reading that poem in one of my 4 gay kitchens.

K. R. Seward said...

Yeah, that's a great poem. Esp. for this time of year.

Shades of Blake and Whitman, and maybe a rejoinder to Aesop's fable.

Thanks.

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