Friday, October 07, 2011

Is the soul solid, like iron?
Or is it tender and breakable, like
the wings of a moth in the beak of the owl?
Who has it, and who doesn't?
I keep looking around me.
The face of the moose is as sad
as the face of Jesus.
The swan opens her white wings slowly.
In the fall, the black bear carries leaves into the darkness.
One question leads to another.
Does it have a shape? Like an iceberg?
Like the eye of a hummingbird?
Does it have one lung, like the snake and the scallop?
Why should I have it, and not the anteater
who loves her children?
Why should I have it, and not the camel?
Come to think of it, what about the maple trees?
What about the blue iris?
What about all the stones, sitting alone in the moonlight?
What about roses, and lemons, and their shining leaves?
What about the grass?

~"Some Questions You Might Ask" by Mary Oliver ~

I just ordered the best little gem ever: House of Light by Mary Oliver
Each poem is like a piece of sunshine in the palm of my hands. I gasp and close the pages once I've read one poem, holding the book to my chest, amazed.


sarah elwell said...

The poem, yes, nice. But the photo! Where did you get the photo?!

I have only read Mary Oliver in small pieces, having discovered her very recently, but I think I like her very much. She's like a fainter feminine version of Robert Frost, yes?

katiebird said..., sarah :) That is a photo from the last post's morning, untouched, and EVEN uncropped...the spirit showed me this drop and I am showing it to you. A drop of rain from our very old apple tree.
I can see why you think of her as a kind of version of Robert Frost, but I'd be interested to hear your take on her if you were to read more and more of her work. I think you'd find a completely unique voice, rather like a clear day, her poems make me cry. To me, Robert Frost feels like a warm butternut squash soup on a cold day with cider brewing somewhere in the house and a very cozy blanket wrapped over cold legs just in from a winter walk, but Mary Oliver feels like the clearest morning light, almost white - her poems are in that time it takes to come up over a ridge and touch the top of a very still lake. Completely in my opinion of course!

sarah elwell said...

Yes, I completely see what you are saying! I agree with you! Except I also love the sorrow and darkness Robert writes - the winter chill of that walk still lingering.

katiebird said...

YES, you heard me completely. There is often times a lingering sadness, like that winter chill, and the warm feeling comes, for me, in understanding what he is saying.

The Barefoot Crofter said...

I do love this poem - and the photo. As a child, I imagined the soul as a silvery teardrop shape - a real internal organ placed right in the middle of my breast. Perfect image - thank you xx

Sea Angels said...

Questions we always ask, and its comforting to know others ask them too, you both talk of different artists in the same world, seeing things from their eyes offering us key's to different doors, opening our eyes and hearts to what we may have missed or not realised..after that its up to us.. in however it may be perceived.
The book has been purchased and is hopefully winging its way to me soon thank you for the recommendation Katie xxxx

Barefoot from Heaven said...

Jellooww sweetie pie. Sooo fun to look aournd your acres. And those pics go straight to the core of my heart. It almost stoped beating because of all the beauty you've captured. I'll be back soon, after I'm not that crazy busy with my new job. Great thing that I've found you again. Be well and hug all the ones you're dear too. Hugs Dagmar