Tim’s choice, number 3

Every so often, you come across somebody who points you towards something else which becomes a great source of joy and inspiration. Such a person is Tim, who I met on urban retreat and who became my Buddha buddy. He recommended the poet Mary Oliver to me, and what a wonderful recommendation! Tim very kindly sent me three of her poems which he finds inspiring, and beautiful  he uses Mary’s work in meditation, and I think the visual quality of her poems lends itself very readily to that.

Mary was born in 1935 and now, nearly eighty, she lives very quietly in Provincetown in Massachusetts. She is much respected and has won many prizes and awards for her work, including the Pulitzer Prize, and four honorary doctorates. She has published many collections of poetry since 1963, when the first volume of her verse came out when she was only twenty-eight. She has edited other collections, and written prose as well.

Here is Tim’s choice:

Every day
I see or hear
that more or less
kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle
in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for –
to look, to listen,
to lose myself
inside this soft world –
to instruct myself
over and over
in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,
the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant –
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,
the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help
but grow wise
with such teachings
as these –
the untrimmable light
of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?
~ Mary Oliver ~

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