In Praise of Mary Oliver

We  heard poet Mary Oliver read from her works at Benaroya Hall here in Seattle last night.  The collection of poems she read spanned her entire oeuvre–an excellent selection.  She read for an hour; it was such a delight to hear her work read in her own voice.  Also a delight was her sense of humor, her humble good grace, her great heart.

Her relationship with the natural world, with the beauty and gift of nature itself, made me feel utterly sane.  I’m not sure what I mean by that, just that I felt at ease and sane by the end of the reading.  Perhaps her call to presence when breathing the sweet air of the morning, or hearing an owl at night, made me feel that there is great sanity in loving the loveliness of this planet we share.  That all the flat screen tvs and  ipods in the world can’t  compete with the  feel of the sun on your skin on a summer day.

Yes, I think that might be it.

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3 responses to “In Praise of Mary Oliver

  1. Yes, yes. I felt this reverence this past weekend! There is nothing like the songs of frogs coming into the yurt or the smell of sun on Ponderosa pines!

  2. Or the smell of sage early in the morning when the dew amplifies it’s sweet, musty scent. Oliver makes poetry of those moments where we recognize the sacredness of being present.

  3. Neighbor Susan

    Was that an owl we heard last night? It woke Lauren up at 12:30, and Tom and I heard something earlier that was loud, two “syllable”, like a dog barking but not really.

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