Thursday, May 20, 2010

the summer day, by mary oliver

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean -
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down--
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

~ Mary Oliver 

(An old favorite poem, especially when the weather begins to warm. Also, the photo at the top of this post was taken by my good friend Amy while we were on a camping trip last year.) 


  1. I've seen miracles in every way, and I've seen miracles every day.

  2. I especially love the last line about your one wild and precious life. The whole poem is so dreamy. It's a great day for poetry and I thank YOU for sharing this one. :)

  3. Would you believe I posted this before I read your blog? Must be something in the air! :)