December 16, 2012

Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends

into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don't say
it's easy, but
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?

So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day,

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.


-- by Mary Oliver

22 comments:

  1. So beautiful. "I don't say / it's easy / but what else will do / if the love one claims to have for the world / be true?" Thank you for posting these lines today, Emily.

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    1. They seem especially appropriate today for several reasons. Glad you felt something in them, Erin!

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  2. Every year we have been
    witness to it: how the
    world descends

    into a rich mash, in order that
    it may resume.

    The cycle of life. So beautiful as are your words. And so quiet as to be shocking as are your words.

    And no better time to post this!

    Hope all goes well with you.

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    1. Thank you, Bill! Although I must make it clear that these are Mary Oliver's words and not my own. If only! I do so love her work. A rich mash of images, to be sure.

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  3. What a beautiful blog you have. Found you via Bill. Wonderful, and a fellow Minnesotan!

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    1. Hi Teresa: Glad you like the blog and so pleased to have another Minnesotan here. We are a good bunch, I think. :)

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  4. Haunting and beautiful words from one of the best. Thank you.

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    1. Tina Jo and SPT: For those of us who revere the natural world, Mary Oliver is hard to beat, huh?

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  5. Emily:

    Thank you for sharing this from my favorite female poet. Did you do this for my birthday today?

    I've used Mary Oliver excerpts in some of my "Fragments of Poetry" posts. I have most of her collections. Love her writing.

    Richard

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    1. It's a birthday gift, yes! By all means. Hope you take these with you as bright bulbs to hanging on your birthday and Christmas tree.

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  6. "...though the sun be swinging east..." reminded me of Gordon Bok's unspeakably beautiful song, "Morning", with its line recalling that "the stars are swinging slow, and the seas are rolling easy". It's a beautiful, healing song that you can listen to here.

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    1. You're right, Linda: beautiful and healing. My goodness.

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  7. just love her. especially that ending. thank you.

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  8. Thanks for sharing this, Emily. I was thinking of you the other day - as a teacher and mother-to-be - which reminded me that I hadn't caught up with your posts of late as work keeps me nested in my winter den. The light in your images, the lilt in your words, brings home to me what is important and glimmering in this world. Reading your recent posts this morning was joyous and refreshing, a beautiful way to mark the sun as it swings east, the vitality of what is, as well as what will be.

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    1. So nice to see your words here, Julian. This last week has been a heavy one for parents and teachers alike, but full of good things, too, like large snowflakes and crisp air. That dichotomy is sometimes hard to reconcile. But the sky is blue today and I'm heading into our holiday break and looking forward to filling myself with hearty food and laughter. It is both a little and a lot to ask for. So: Gratitude. Best holiday wishes to you!

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  9. Lovely poem that really does capture this time of year, at least where I live.

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  10. Definitely something for this time of year, for this day, given all the hype around it. The lines that strike me the most are "how the vivacity of what was is married to the vitality of what will be." Hauntingly reminiscent.

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  11. Oh, and Emily? Thank you so very much for voting for my Christmas tree. I really do appreciate it. It was a small gesture, but I can't thank you enough for taking the time to do it.

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    1. Happy to do it, Dawn. And glad you found lines in this lovely poem that resonated. Happy New Year to you!

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