Saturday, July 20, 2013

Through the Lens Capturing the Marsh Hawk

On the eve of the publication of her third volumes of poems, Twelve Moons, Archibald Mac Leish (1892-1982) American poet,writer and Librarian of Congress) wrote to Mary Oliver: "You have indeed entered the kingdom. You have done something better than create your own world: you have discovered the world we all live in and do not see and cannot feel."
Mary Oliver's poems reveal new aspects of the world inviting us to pause with her and see and feel them. 
I think Oliver is a master of crafting poems that speak to the beauty that surrounds the coastlines.

Marsh Hawk
by Mary Oliver
poem from book of poems Why I Wake Early by Mary Oliver

The marsh hawk

as other hawks do,
work his wings

like soft hinges
to make
progress over
the morning marsh,

but merely
or so it seems,
lays his breast upon the air
and the air, as if understanding,

floats him along
with his wings open,
and raised, just a little
beyond the horizontal-in thanks, perhaps,

to the great crystal carrier
of leaves and clouds-
of everything.
And even though his shadow

follows exactly
his every tilt and flow, and even though
he must know that hunger will win,
he doesn't hurry,

but floats in wide circles
as he gazes
into the marshes below
his hard beak

and the hooks of his feet, as though
wanting something
more lasting than meat.
At noon he's still  there

above the brambles, the grass, the flat water,
where, in their almost stately disengagement,
the incredible dampness and darkness


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