Sunday, 6 February 2011

mary oliver

When Death Comes

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it's over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.


Titus said...

Big poem for a Sunday night, enjoyed it very much.

And unrelated, no refund needed on the Atwood. Thanks for the recommendation.

swiss said...

i don;t know muhc about mary oliver but rea dthis and want to read more.

glad you liked the atwood

Rachel Fox said...

Hmm. Maybe it's the distance but this one made me gag a bit.

I know Oliver is very popular and I'm all for popular poetry but I can't get on with her stuff. Not yet anyway. That bridegroom bit - ugh!


swiss said...

what are you doing on the internet - you're supposed to be on holiday. wed to amazement? okay maybe a bit chuntery but i'll take that. ever the ray of sunshine! lol

Rachel Fox said...

They have the internet here too! We're staying with relatives so have some normal-stuff time as well as non-stop holiday fun...

swiss said...

sweet! i can't wait to see how it all unfolds!