brisk, breezy April days remind me the month is passing quickly by. besides being the month of showers (and breezes!) April is also National Poetry Month, at least here in the States. kate has issued a poetry challenge of sorts – post about a poem, or a book of poems in honor of this month. so before April blows by, i must share a bit of poetry with you.
my relationship with poetry is really quite variable, for sometimes i find myself reading quite a bit, and even dabbling around with writing it. last year was such a year for me, and during that time i was introduced to the work of Mary Oliver, an American poet who currently writes and resides in New England. She has published numerous volumes of poetry, and has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize.
Ms. Oliver’s work takes the everyday, ordinary world around us and imbues it with splendid sacred, beauty. this is what i love about it.
here is the first Oliver poem i read, and the one i re-read whenever i need to feel a sense of quiet affirmation about being alive.
Why I Wake Early
Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and crotchety-
best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happen
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light-
good morning, good morning, good morning.
Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.
isn’t that peaceful and lovely and hopeful? i adore the way she likens the sun to a preacher, whose light keeps us from “ever darkness,” and “eases us with warm touching.” and i always smile thinking about the sun, shining “into the windows, of, even the miserable and crotchety-” for, certainly, they must cast their misery aside in the face of that “dear star.”
outside my window this morning, the sky is gunmetal gray, a chill drizzle pattering on the panes. yet i can read these words feel lifted by the “great hands of light,” even though they may not be visible.
and i can “start the day in happiness, in kindess.”