I was recently jarred into awakening by a Mary Oliver poem. I was reading another blog and the author mentioned the poem, The Summer Day. I quickly opened a new tab, and looked up Mary Oliver and the poem. The Summer Day details the wonder and magical simplicity of what lies in the natural world. The poem reminded me to slow down and absorb the magic and the miracle that lies outside my door. All of this is not new fodder for a poem, quaint and somewhat clichéd, until the last line. That last line was a simple profound question; that put me on notice:
“ Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Wow, in one fell swoop she points out that I too am wild, (really?) and secondly that my life is rare and my being is a reflection of the divine. Now that I have been given this gift, what do I plan to do with it? Ummm….Sheesh. I was just sitting here having a cup of coffee and thinking about what to make for dinner. Well, ahh…… I have been turning that question over and over since I’ve heard that line. That call to live up to the rare and precious opportunity I have been given. That call to live in largeness, abundance, and consciously. Yeah, that question kicked me out of the mundane.
I love this about poems, how in a few short lines the poet is able boil down to the very essence complicated and essential themes. How a poem can resonate in your bones for a very long time. How you can use poems to lean on during troubled times, celebrate happier times, and even explain the world.
I love words, I do. I love how they symbolize ideas, communication, and experiments in thought. Oh, I love me some words. There are poems that have marked certain times in my life, important moments of choice, and complicated thoughts I couldn’t quite get out. Are there poems that have changed you? Resonated your feelings? Marked time periods?
Here’s my list of milestone poems:
Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would not Take the Garbage Out – Shel Silverstein
She Walks in Beauty – Lord Byron
Daddy – Sylvia Plath
Recuerdo- Edna St. Vincent Millay
When You are Old – W. B. Yeats
The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost
Sonnet XVII- Pablo Neruda
The Summer Day – Mary Oliver
I challenge you to compile your own list and share it with us. Shaking up the mundane is not a bad thing.