for forty years
the sheets of white paper have
passed under my hands and I have tried
to improve their peaceful
emptiness putting down
little curls little shafts
of letters words
little flames leaping
not one page
was less to me than fascinating
discursive full of cadence
its pale nerves hiding
in the curves of the Qs
behind the soldierly Hs
in the webbed feet of the Ws
and again this morning as always
I am stopped as the world comes back
wet and beautiful I am thinking
is not even a river
is not a tree is not a green field
is not even a black ant traveling
from day to day from one
golden page to another.
-Mary Oliver, West Wind, (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1997).
Happy Birthday to Mary Oliver, (born September 10, 1935).
4 thoughts on ““Forty Years” by Mary Oliver”
Absolutely perfect. What a wonderful tribute this week to an amazing lady. Thank you for introducing me ❤️
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Still my favorite writer.
You already know how I feel about this treasure to the world.
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Don’t miss her piece today. Darker for her. So good.
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