Summer Poetry: Mary Oliver, “The Summer Day”
Take some time out to read some poetry this summer! It’s one of my favorite things to do on those lazy hot days. One of my favorite poets is Mary Oliver (she wrote a book called The Poetry Handbook, which I highly recommend to people who want to learn to “read” poetry!), and “The Summer Day” is one of my favorite “prayers” to nature.
Here’s the poem (from the Library of Congress website):
“The Summer Day”
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?
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