I’ve been thinking a lot about Mary Oliver this week (the anniversary of her death was Monday), so I pulled out my very dog-eared and well-bookmarked copy of Devotions, a more recent collection of her work . . . and just started reading randomly (as is my way when I read poetry). Despite the fact that I’ve been reading Mary Oliver’s poetry for decades and decades now, every time I pick up a book of her poetry, I can find a new-to-me Mary Oliver poem to love.
My offering in today’s Gathering of Poetry is from Mary Oliver, a poem originally part of her 2015 collection, Felicity, and also included in Devotions. I hadn’t really noticed this one before, somehow, but it’s now dog-eared . . . and joining my ever-expanding list of favorite-Mary-Oliver-poems.
The World I Live In
by Mary Oliver
I have refused to live
locked in the orderly house of
reasons and proofs.
The world I live in and believe in
is wider than that. And anyway,
what’s wrong with Maybe?
You wouldn’t believe what once or
twice I have seen. I’ll just
tell you this:
only if there are angels in your head will you
ever, possibly, see one.
I found this poem in Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver, Penguin Press, 2017. Information about the poet can be found here.
You can find A Gathering of Poetry every month . . . on the third Thursday.
Gather up some poetry!
(Bonny is hosting a special link-up for A Gathering of Poetry. Be sure to check it out!)
This poem is even more evocative after finishing Isabel Allende’s latest book last night. I am echoing a hearty YES with Mary on the need to have angels in your head to see them in your world!
This is likewise a new-to-me Oliver poem, thank you so much for sharing!
Thank you for introducing me to a new-to-me Mary Oliver poem. It’s one I think I needed to read today, but isn’t that often the way with poetry? May you Maybe in your life and angels in your head.
Mary Oliver was such a gift to the world. I love the idea of “what’s wrong with maybe?”
Such a good one Kym! “Devotions” is on my nightstand where I can pick it up routinely to enjoy.
Mary Oliver will always be one of my favorite poets and Devotions is a book I turn to often. Thank you for sharing, Kym!
She always manages to say things so well! Thank goodness we live in a world with her poetry in it.
!!!! Thank you Kym – I don’t think I’ve seen this poem before. I love the way she writes about angels, and now I’m ever so happy to have a few knocking around in my head!
Mary Oliver is one of my favorite poets. Thank you for sharing this poem. I am off to find my copy of Felicity, locate the poem, and mark it with another sticky note.