Poetry fuels the soul

I forget that poetry is potent, powerful. I forget the ways in which it reminds me to slow down. To be present to this beautiful world in ways that I don’t always remember. To breathe in the words of my writing lineage and feel the words of inspiration from others.

Today, as I’m feeling quiet, I want to share some poetry with you. It’s not my absolute hands-down favourite poem, but the second half of this poem has been cropping up in my brain recently.

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?

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

What is poem may be resonating with you right now? What lyrics (songs or poetry) hum in your veins right now?

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