Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mary Oliver: "Messenger"

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
     equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still half-perfect? Let me
     keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
     and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
     to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
     that we live forever.

"Messenger" by Mary Oliver, from Thirst: Poems. © Beacon Press, 2007.

Photography credit: Unknown (originally color).



  1. What a powerful thought: my work, loving the world...standing still and being astonished. Thank you. Ms Oliver!

  2. Lovely! We take for granted so many beautiful things in our everyday life.


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