Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Devotions

Devotions is the title of a newly published book of Mary Oliver's poetry.


The book is large, 455 pages, and has poems chosen by the author, from 27 of her books beginning in 1963 up to and including Felicity in 2015.

Here's one of those 1960s poems, written before she was 30 years old, before she won the Pulitzer Prize, before she became "Mary Oliver"---undoubtedly the most popular and most quoted poet in the US today:

Morning in a New Day

In trees still dripping night, some nameless birds
woke, shook out their arrowy wings and sang,
slowly, like finches shifting through a dream.
The pink sun fell, like glass, into the fields.
Two chestnuts, and a dapple gray,
their shoulders wet with light, their dark hair streaming, climbed the hill. The last mist fell away.

And under the trees, beyond time's brittle drift
I stood like Adam in his lonely garden
on that first morning, shaken out of sleep,
rubbing his eyes, listening, parting the leaves,
like tissue on some vast incredible gift.