Monday, March 08, 2010

Panhala and Mary Oliver's Messenger

I came across a neat poetry site, Panhala that combines a beautiful picture, a poem and some music. If you sign up for email from Panhala the music is optional.

They feature many of my favorite poets like Mary Oliver, Richard Wilbur, Wislawa Szymborska, W.S. Merwin, Rainer Maria Rilke, Antonio Machado, etc., with archives going back to 2002.

Mary Oliver's poem, "Messenger", a new favorite:


My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

~ Mary Oliver ~

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