Thursday, April 3, 2008

Another Poem by Mary Oliver


I was blessed to hear Mary Oliver read her poetry last Sunday night. She also answered questions from the audience. I say this even though I went out with a migraine, my eyes were watering, my nose was running, there were sharp stabbing pains behind one eye. It was still a privilege to hear her read. And we laughed, too She was funny.

The old elegant theatre was nearly full. My husband said, how is it that so many people come out to hear a poet? I didn't say this, but I thought, Mary Oliver is poetry's version of a rock star.

I found a review of the evening here.

She read three poems about her dog, Percy. This was not one of them.

Percy and Books (Eight)

Percy does not like it when I read a book.
He puts his face over the top of it and moans.
He rolls his eyes, sometimes he sneezes.
The sun is up, he says, and the wind is down.
The tide it out and the neighbor's dogs are playing.
But Percy, I say, Ideas! The elegance of language!
The insights, the funniness, the beautiful stories
that rise and fall and turn into strength, or courage.

Books? says Percy. I ate one once, and it was enough.
Let's go.

From her new collection, Red Bird
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