Thursday, September 15, 2011

How to Pose a Question

I love how poet Mary Oliver is able to sustain a question within a poem, weaving intricate details into the rhythm. Layering the ordinary, the beautiful, the awe, the despair. The whole time maintaining a certain pitch, tone, and pace that doesn't allow you to forget it's a question she's posing. An answer she's invoking within you. She leads you to the edge of the cliff, to the line drawn in the sand, and when that final question rolls from her pen, you are sent reeling. Wondering. Your heart pinned until an answer surfaces from your own history. And, then you know the magic of a poem. The power of the poet. . .

The Sun (by Mary Oliver)
Have you ever seen
in your life
more wonderful

than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon

and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone-
and how it slides again

out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower

streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance-
and have you ever felt for anything

such wild love-
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure

that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you
as you stand there,
or have you too
turned from this world-

or have you too 
gone crazy
for power,
for things?


  1. It is,thank you!!On an early morning walk with my dog :)

  2. holy moly she is AMAZING! and holy moly Sister, your photo is AMAZING!!!
    just like you.

  3. A perfectly chosen and stunning photo to accompany this wonderful poem.

  4. your entry was pure poetry...she is amazing but so are YOU.