Tuesday, March 24, 2009

POETRY | The Journey

By Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.


Ana S. said...

Lovely. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Wow. What collection is this one from?

darkorpheus said...

Nymeth - You are welcome. I hope you have enjoyed Mary Oliver's poem as much a I do. I keep coming back to this poem in particular over the years.

Stefanie - It's from one of her older collection: DREAM WORK. But it can also be found in NEW AND SELECTED POEMS VOLUME ONE - if I remember correctly.

Doc Martian said...


Melwyk said...

Love, love, love her work!! Thanks for sharing this one.

Doc Martian said...

also, as far as dreams and poetry goes... have you ever read this?

Dreams by Olive Schreiner

Anonymous said...

wowsers! powerful!