Monday, January 6, 2014

Poem for a Monday

The latest "game" on Facebook (everyone is posting poems and assigning poets to each other!) has prompted me to get back into my "Poem for a Monday" habit.  I think it's a good way to start the writing week ... especially this writing week and mizzly Monday, which is pouring down rain on several feet of what was only yesterday's beautiful snow.

This poem from Mary Oliver (my latest poet crush) spoke to me today.  Even though it's supposedly about death, I love it because it inspires me to live my life differently.  Favorite section of the poem:  "When it's over, I want to say: all my life/I was a bride married to amazement."

When Death Comes
By Mary Oliver

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world. 

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