“The Summer Day” – Mary Oliver

The Summer Day
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?

6 thoughts on ““The Summer Day” – Mary Oliver

      • West, although east of BC, the next province over., land of the biggest dirtiest oil mining operation on the planet now trying to recover from the discovery that not everyone wants Canada’s oil anymore.. :) interesting times. Huge out of control for nearly two weeks off more forest fire close to major oil mining operations caused more than a little consternation. Weather bizarre, losing trees in the thousands due to drought over several years, and then there’s the bizarre politics over the border.. And I’m still asking myself that question, what is it that I plan to do with my one wild and precious life?

  1. Ah yes. Thank you for reminding me of this wonderful poem and profoundly important question. Reposting :)

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