Poem: Egrets by Mary Oliver

Poetry intimidates me so I usually avoid it.  But my sister insisted I’d appreciate Mary Oliver’s poems.  And I do.  Especially this one since right now I’m missing all those amazing birds I saw everywhere in Florida.  The very last, um, stanza? (calling[info]kellyrfineman) gets me where I live.

EGRETS
by Mary Oliver

Where the path closed

 down and over,

   through the scumbled leaves,

     fallen branches,

through the knotted catbrier,

  I kept going.  Finally

    I could not

      save my arms

        from thorns; soon

the mosquitoes

  smelled me, hot

    and wounded, and came

      wheeling and whining.

        And that’s how I came

to the edge of the pond:

  black and empty

    except for a spindle

      of bleached reeds

at the far shore

  which, as I looked,

    wrinkled suddenly

      into three egrets – – –

a shower

  of white fire!

    Even half-asleep they had

      such faith in the world

that had made them – – –

  tilting through the water,

    unruffled, sure,

      by the laws

of their faith not logic,

  they opened their wings

    softly and stepped

      over every dark thing.

 

17 thoughts on “Poem: Egrets by Mary Oliver

  1. Stanza, si. Well done you, remembering that.
    How I adore the word “scumbled”, and the idea of something wrinkling into egrets. And oh! those last few lines. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Stanza, si. Well done you, remembering that.

    How I adore the word “scumbled”, and the idea of something wrinkling into egrets. And oh! those last few lines. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. I love that last line 🙂
    The only birds I see here lately are sparrows and starlings. I’m looking forward to the cedar waxwings showing up.

  4. I love that last line 🙂

    The only birds I see here lately are sparrows and starlings. I’m looking forward to the cedar waxwings showing up.

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