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Poetry Friday: The Whole Story

“In the beginning I was so young and such a stranger to myself I hardly existed. I had to go out into the world and see it and hear it and react to it, before I knew at all who I was, what I was, what I wanted to be.” Mary Oliver
Breakage
Mary Oliver

I go down to the edge of the sea.
How everything shines in the morning light!
The cusp of the whelk,
the broken cupboard of the clam,
the opened, blue mussels,
moon snails, pale pink and barnacle scarred—
and nothing at all whole or shut, but tattered, split,
dropped by the gulls onto the gray rocks and all the moisture gone.
It's like a schoolhouse
of little words,
thousands of words.
First you figure out what each one means by itself,
the jingle, the periwinkle, the scallop
       full of moonlight.

Then you begin, slowly, to read the whole story.

Comments

  1. Thanks for this bit of Mary Oliver today, Kim! Happy Friday! =)

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  2. I do so love that idea of going out in the world to find your inner self.

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  3. Love, love Mary Oliver! Thanks for sharing this particular one. I love that last line.

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  4. Mary Oliver just gets it, time and time again. What it means to live in this world, always trying to figure out your place in it. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. I guess this is our life, to keep figuring it out from all that we experience. Wonderful Mary Oliver makes us think again and again. I'm reading Upstream now and love each part. Thanks, Kim.

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  6. Mary Oliver always tells a great story with nature as her characters.

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  7. Mary Oliver! I turn to Oliver so often for words of wisdom. This is one of my favorites.

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  8. So beautiful and deceptively simple. I bought myself Mary Oliver's latest book.....now to get off my computer and into it! Thank you for sharing.

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  9. I love Mary Oliver! This is a new one to me! Thank you!

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