I’m not a poetry buff, but I’ve always liked Mary Oliver. Her new book of poems, Felicity, came out a few weeks ago. Every now and then, Tee and I have been taking a moment and read one of the poems aloud.
This is the very first poem in the book:
Things take the time they take. Don’t
How many roads did St. Augustine follow
before he became St. Augustine?
Okay, universe. I get it. I’ll be patient.
There’s a spiritual sensibility to poetry – as if the writer is communicating on a deeper and more meaningful level. Personally, I’ve never been able to communicate on that level. I took a writing class in college and one of the assignments was a poem. My professor actually laughed at me a little, which is totally unprofessional but, in this case, absolutely understandable. I think the poem was just a string of my favorite words, all positive sunshine-y words, strung together – no deeper meaning, no subtle message, nothing.
I don’t think I’ll ever be a hardcore poetry lover, but I am enjoying Mary Oliver’s words. It’s amazing how much power a short, sweet, and simple poem can have – it reminds me of play therapy, how much powerful work can be done using symbolic play . Sometimes, what is simple is true. Sometimes, what is simple is magnificent.
Everyone now and again wonders about
those questions that have no ready
answers: first cause, God’s existence,
what happens when the curtain goes
down and nothing stops it, not kissing,
not going to the mall, not the Super
“Wild roses,” I said to them one morning.
“Do you have the answers? And if you do,
would you tell me?”
The roses laughed softly. “Forgive us,”
they said. “But as you can see, we are
just now entirely busy being roses.”