Tuesday, January 19, 2010


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?

Poem from New and Selected Poems, by Mary Oliver (1992); Beacon Press.


  1. Yes, everything and everyone does die too soon. I love the ending question.

  2. Your banner reminds me of some of the Japanese gardens I saw in Kyoto-- beautiful. The poem reminds me how precious life is.

  3. I like you new masthead. i have always loved ponds with lily pads with Koi and maybe even tree fogs.

    The poem reflects what I have recently felt myself.

    Thank you for sharing,

  4. This poem reminds of the joy of summer, and was absolutely the perfect thing to start this day with, thank you!

  5. Always love the poem and always startled by the end line...never expect to be asked the BIG question. Lovely...thank you.


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