Sloppy Firsts

 As I sip my morning coffee, I can’t really think of a thing to write about. Maybe I am having first blog post jitters. But to break the ice and to get a handle on what my blog is all about, I want to share a bit of writing from someone else before I get my own up on here.


One of my favorite poets is Mary Oliver. She writes the sort of meditations on life through scenery and nature that I aspire to write. Her style is a very strong influence on my style and for that reason I would like to share one of her poems which meditates on what prayer can be.

The Summer Day

Mary Oliver


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?


Mary tends to introduce her poems with questions and observations, she moves through her point employing beautiful and delicate description then abruptly sharpens the point at the end to leave the reader with something to think about/ The aesthetic beauty she describes in the middle of her poem serves to foreground the philosophical pondering or question she really wants the reader to contemplate– i.e. “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

This first post was short, but I wanted to start by sharing an old favorite. Hope you enjoy.



2 comments on “Sloppy Firsts

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