Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mary Oliver, #1

      Mary Oliver––of Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award merit.
      I don't know when my fascination with her writing began, but I have read and reread many of Ms. Oliver's poems for years. Her poetic magnets for me have been and still are: a sensitive simplicity, perceptive detail, wisdom, delicacy, grace, beauty and a fascination for the natural world. Her thoughts and words resonate with my own world, and perhaps that's justification enough for the draw to her writing. At times, her poetry reminds me of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's prose, but I might stand alone in that regard as I've not read a similar comment.
     If you are freshly introduced (or not) to Mary Oliver, perhaps one poem's rendering here might encourage you to seek out a volume or two of her writings.
     I chose this prose poem because it fits into the beginning of a new year.

                   Don't Hesitate
If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don't hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, and not very often kind. And much can never be redeemed. Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this is its way of fighting back, that sometimes something happens better than all the riches or power in the world. It could be anything, but very likely you notice it in the instant when love begins. Anyway, that's often the case. Anyway, whatever it is, don't be afraid of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.