Poetry Friday: Summer Story, by Mary Oliver

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We moved into our farm in West Hebron, New York last Friday, and I have been in a state of wonder ever since.  Blue bright skies, dew laden mornings, and evenings with thunderstorms racing up the valley towards our farmhouse … each day brings something new.  With just my dog for company, I roam here and there learning this new landscape, so different from suburban New Jersey.   I feel as though I am learning to listen and look once again, and so this Mary Oliver poem:

Summer Story

When the hummingbird
sinks its face
into the trumpet vine
and the funnels

of the blossoms,
and the tongue
leaps out
and throbs,

I am scorched
to realize once again
how many small, available things
are in the world

that aren’t
pieces of gold
or power–
that nobody owns

or could buy even
for a hillside of money–
that just
float about the world,

or drift over the fields,
or into the gardens,
and into the tents of the vines
and how here I am

spending my time,
as the saying goes,
watching until the watching turns into feeling
so that I feel I am myself

a small bird
with a terrible hunger
with a thin beak probing and dipping
and a heart that races so fast

it is only a heartbeat ahead of breaking
and I am the hunger and the assuagement
and also I am the leaves and the blossoms,
and, like them, I am full of delight and shaking.

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10 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Summer Story, by Mary Oliver

  1. Tara, a new Mary Oliver poems for me! Love this thought – “…how many small available things are in the world…” Wishing you many more summer days of delight at the farm.

  2. I hope the first book you brought into your new home is one of Mary Oliver’s, Tara. I know you love her, and this fits so wonderfully. Enjoy, enjoy! Thank you for the lovely words. “how many small, available things
    are in the world”

  3. So glad to hear you are settling in to life on your farm. It sounds heavenly. Mary Oliver is herself a wonder, and after reading poems like this I wonder why bother trying to write anything new. But then I remember that, yes, the world is full of “small, available things” that I can’t stop wondering about. Thank you for sharing this lovely poem, Tara.

  4. That was gorgeous. Love when a poem says just what I would have wanted to say!
    I’m so happy for you to be able to now be
    “watching until the watching turns into feeling
    so that I feel I am myself”
    It is a wonderful feeling!

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