There is, all around us,
of original fire.
Listen, whatever it is you try
to do with your life, nothing will ever dazzle you
like the dreams of your body,
longing to fly while the dead-weight of bones
toss their dark mane and hurry
back into the fields of glittering fire
even the great whale,
throbs with song.
—Mary Oliver, American Primitive, from “Humpbacks.”
the blue of the sky falls over me
like silk, the flowers burn, and I want
to live my life over again, to begin again,
to be utterly"
—Mary Oliver, American Primitive, from “A Meeting.”
"[the blue damselfly’s] eyes
staring east where the summer moon
brushing over the dark pond,
for all of us, the white flower
—Mary Oliver, American Primitive, from “Little Sister Pond.”
"there is no end,
believe me! to the inventions of summer,
to the happiness your body
is willing to bear."
—Mary Oliver, American Primitive, from “The Roses.”
"become again a flaming body of blind feeling"
—Mary Oliver, American Primitive, from “The Sea.”
Have you seen the roses shiver then open their small fluted perfect panels of mildest silk, besieged
by another idea? Have you seen their wild faces
when they first open?
Have you seen them lifting themselves to the "
heat of the sun,
or the rain tapping with its slender fingers on
the pale sand below?
Or the bunched bee in the blossoms, doing its work,
entering and emerging, and the flowers
shining in their bed of leaves?
—Mary Oliver, The Leaf and The Cloud, "Rhapsody," pt. 4