Erin Tengquist. Yep. It's me ✨

Poetry Ft. Mary Oliver

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, and 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. 

How 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? 

Mary Oliver (born September 10, 1935) is an American poet who has won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer PrizeThe New York Times described her as "far and away, [America's] best-selling poet".

                I fell in love the first time I read this poem.  To then know that there are multiple books of hers that were out there, I was thoroughly more excited to check them out.  This poem has the nature of a country day, and excitedness of knowing the creatures around her with such gentleness.   I checked out 

American primitive : poems / by Mary Oliver, and thoroughly enjoyed it


Wild Geese. by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.