a very dear friend’s birthday was yesterday. he sent me this achingly beautiful poem
many years ago. now illness is gradually taking him away from us, and i felt a strong
need to find it and send it back to him now. for me, it creates the same overwhelming
sadness and sense of grieving now, as it did so long ago….
-In Blackwater Woods-
Look, the trees
their own bodies
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
the long tapers
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders
of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black rivers of loss
whose other side
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
i am sorry i dont know author’s name, but this is attributed to him or her… with deep gratitude.
God Bless, Ray…
That is a beautiful poem. It is by Mary Oliver,New and Selected Poems (google tells you everything)
..found this info for the curious….
Mary Oliver was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1935.
As a young writer, Mary Oliver was influenced by Edna St. Vincent Millay and, in fact, as a teenager briefly lived in the home of the recently deceased Millay, helping to organize Millay’s papers.
Mary Oliver attended college at Ohio State University, and later at Vassar College.
Mary Oliver’s poetry is deeply aware of the natural world, particularly the birds and trees and ponds of her adopted state of Massachusetts.
Her collection of poetry “American Primitive” won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1984.
you are the consummate researcher!
some very co-incidental things i find in this info…we are all from ohio country. i am a huge fan of Edna St. Vincent Millay, just finished her enormous bio. she was bipolar, also a free-spirit-in a time when women were supposed to be writing grocery lists, not writing poetry!
my french grandmother went to vassar,too and ran with the NY literary crowd back then.
ANYONE who grows up with nature
ends up falling in love…
although many are unwilling to undertakr the work, everone
stops to admire a beautiful
landscape, or garden.
funny how some things are somehow
connected. this poem had always made me cry, both for its subject, and its essential beauty.
– emotion –
teary eyes, blurry typos…
fear for my dear one’s health
my sole excuse.
In the garden I think we see the circle of life, but somehow we never get resigned to it. I am sure your loving thoughts and compassion are sources of healing for your friend.
I pray today for you and him… for the different sorts of healing and comfort we all have need of. Love to you good friend… and all the more for seeing what a caring friend you are.