Waking Early

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.”







4 thoughts on “Waking Early

  1. Have been reading her for about 5 years and love everything she writes. My birth mother introduced me to her poems and I have 6 of her books. I read them all the time. Glad you found her. You will never be disappointed by her poems:)

  2. This is a lovely poem – here the day started all sunny and promising but slowly changed into a rainy and grey outlook, definitely bleak by now. It’s good to hang on to the earlier optimism and lightness by way of this poem! Thanks

  3. Thanks for sharing this with us. It is indeed lovely. By the way, I have moved my blog (formerly PfeifferBooknotes) to Booknotes by Lisa at http://booknotesbylisa.blogspot.com if you want to update your blogroll. I just got everything changed over and have been painting all week, so there aren’t any new posts as of yet. But, I start on my new job tomorrow, and I’ll get back into a routine soon.

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