Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Among the Trees

When I am Among the Trees

by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine."

From Thirst. Poems by Mary Oliver published by Beacon Press, Boston, 2006.

This is one of my favorite poems-- ever. I have a lot of favorite poems by Mary Oliver. Her words and images resonate with my experiences and crystallize them in beautiful, prayerful ways. I love poetry as much as I love trees and leaves. April is National Poetry Month, so I indulge in poetry's words a little more than usual.

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