The power of poetry

white_lily-3One of my teachers and dear friend, said recently, that ‘poems find you’… Funny she’d mentioned it, her words peaked my interest, thinking to myself, silently, “I wonder where my poem is and when it will find me”?  Early in the new year, I had come across this quote from Mary Oliver:

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”.

I fell in love with the words and posted the quote on the fridge for awhile and then it made its way onto my vision board.  These words seemed to be enough, not knowing that there was much more to it.

I recently completed a course called Lifesong, and had my last one-to-one session.  I had intended to bring with me a new song to sing, a poem I had written for my husband, but as I rushed out the door, it didn’t make its way into my handbag.  When I shared this, Barclay said, that’s just perfectly fine, I’ll find a poem for you.  He immediately pulled out Mary Oliver’s work and read a poem, called The Pond, the words melted into my heart:

“Still, what I want in my life is to be willing
to be dazzled – to cast aside the weight of facts.”

Then another, The Summer Day…. and as the ending drew near and I heard the words,

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I almost flew off my seat, I said, this is the poem!  Love these precious moments of how life unfolds in its own magical ways and sitting back for the ride.  You just never know, what lies around the corner for you.

It seemed to good not to share. May these words, bring light into your heart and move you to dream, this ‘one wild and precious life’ meant just for you.  Be sure to read aloud, many times, the poem begins to take a life of its own!

The Summer Day, 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?

The Ponds

Every year
the lilies
are so perfect
I can hardly believe

their lapped light crowding
the black,
mid-summer ponds.
Nobody could count all of them –

the muskrats swimming
among the pads and the grasses
can reach out
their muscular arms and touch

only so many, they are that
rife and wild.
But what in this world
is perfect?

I bend closer and see
how this one is clearly lopsided –
and that one wears an orange blight –
and this one is a glossy cheek

half nibbled away –
and that one is a slumped purse
full of its own
unstoppable decay.

Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled –
to cast aside the weight of facts

and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking

into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing –
that the light is everything — that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and fading. And I do.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *