Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mary Oliver

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

Mary Oliver was born September 10, 1935. She is an American poet who has won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Mary Oliver's poetry is grounded in memories of her Ohio upbringing and the New England landscape where she eventually settled. She is influenced by both Whitman and Thoreau. Oliver is known for her clear and poignant observances of the natural world. Her creativity is stirred by nature. She is an avid walker, who often pursues inspiration on foot. Her poems are filled with imagery from her daily walks near her home: shore birds, water snakes, the phases of the moon,humpback whales and her dogs.
Oliver has also been compared to Emily Dickinson, with whom she shares an affinity for solitude and interior monologues. Her poetry combines dark introspection with joyous release.
For me Mary Oliver's poems about the natural landscape and fundamental questions of life and death are perceptive and brilliantly crafted. There is a kind of quietness and feeling of peacefulness with each poetic line she pens.

Happy Birthday
The Journey
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.”

"Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” 
Mary Oliver
Update from a kindergarten volunteer

My day did not go as planned. Lucky I didn't spend too much time worrying about what to wear for the Good Morning America filming. The night before I got a call and found out no extra people were allowed in the building which included any parents who wanted to watch and volunteers. There were space limitations with the gym being only large enough to hold the students, teachers and filming crew. All 6 kindergarten classes remained in their classrooms for the morning until lunch time. Lucky each classroom has a bathroom since students were encouraged not to be in the hallways. Grade 1-6 have been practicing for a week on how to behave in an assembly.
Sony production representatives were there promoting their movie Annie with Jamie Foxx, some members 0f the Turnaround Arts Initiative organization and the Good Morning America production crew.  
Follow this link for a picture of  film actor Jamie Foxx at Northport Elementary posted by Star Tribune.
so the bottom line is I missed all the excitement but will be visiting Northport tomorrow and hopefully pick up more details.  My daughter did get a brief glimpse looking out her classroom window of the entourage black SUVs pulling up to the school and Jamie Foxx getting out.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful and moving poem. Thank you Sue. I love and own some of her work. This post inspires me to take a Mary Oliver book off my shelf, settle into my comfy chair with a cup of peppermint tea, and escape into her words.


Meet Minnesota Author Barbara Saefke

NAC 2020 AUTHOR VIRTUAL TOUR MEET MINNESOTA AUTHOR BARBARA SAEFKE Barbara E. Saefke author Mystery and Romance Barbara...