“The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?


from New and Selected Poems, 1992
Beacon Press, Boston, MA

Copyright 1992 by Mary Oliver

“Summer Breeze” by Seals and Croft

7 thoughts on ““The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver

      1. mishedup

        yes..21 is quite the number..bday, death day, sobriety day son’s bday..all different months but…crazy weird


    1. Your comment gave me goose bumps. I was thinking about how perfect this poem was for Summer Soltice and then to learn about Tom’s birthday. Love and hugs to you, my friend – living your wild, precious life. xo


  1. How cool is it find these soul sisters singing about Solstice? Swoon…

    (writing rule #1 – avoid alliteration, always)

    I love June 21st – Happy Solstice Sun Girl. xo


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