Thursday, January 17, 2019

Poetry Friday Is Here!

"But I got saved by poetry. And I got saved by the beauty of the world."
- Mary Oliver

I'm heartbroken at the loss of Mary Oliver. I have so many well-worn volumes of her work. My Yin instructor often reads her poems and essays as we settle into positions for extended periods of time. So many people I know count her as a favorite, myself included. It saddens me to know her voice has fallen silent. In light of her passing, I'm sharing this poem.

In Blackwater Woods
by Mary Oliver

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it
to let it go.

If you have a chance, take some time to listen to this On Being episode with Mary Oliver. You won't regret it.

I'm rounding things up old-school style, so please leave a comment and I'll add you to the post. Happy poetry Friday all.

Poetry Books and Some History
Laura Purdie Salas introduces us to her new book coming out this springSnowman-Cold=Puddle. Woohoo! Congratulations to Laura!

Renee LaTulippe is sharing the second episode of The History of American Children's Poets with Lee Bennett Hopkins.

Original Poems
Matt Forrest Esenwine is sharing a poem about his step-grandfather, birds, and the Saint who connected them all.

Tabatha Yeatts is sharing an original poem entitled The Fortitude of Eyelashes.

Kathryn Apel is linking to her #MoPoetry2019 Insta-Poems, a lovely marriage of poetry and images.

Sally Murphy is sharing her first Poetry Friday poem for 2019, entitled A Lucky Home.

Michelle Kogan is sharing a golden shovel poem inspired by a line from a Martin Luther King, Jr. quote. Her poem is entitled True Peace.

Kiesha Shepard is honoring Mary Oliver in sharing her poem entitled Delight and inviting us to write with her.

Molly Hogan is sharing an "I am" poem and two storm-related haiku.

Mary Lee Hahn is sharing six ekphrastic haikus with German translation and the story behind them.

Heidi Mordhorst is bringing us smiles as she shares poems written by 2nd graders.

Irene Latham is sharing a continuation of her Butterfly Hours memoir project. Her poem is written to the prompt word "broom" and is named the same.

Liz Steinglass is sharing two senryu she wrote this week for her many friends and neighbors who work for the federal government.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is honoring Mary Oliver with her poem entitled Wild and Precious.

Over at Deo Writer, Joan Mccullough shares an original poem inspired by Mary Oliver and a meadowlark.

Carol Labuzzetta shares a color poem of yellow, inspired by the work of Mary O'Neill.

Margaret Simon is sharing a wealth of poems today, including two by Mary Oliver and an original poem entitled A Misty Mary Morning.

Catherine Flynn shares a golden shovel she wrote using the words from the Mary Oliver poem Instructions for A Life.

Poems of Others
Laura Shovan is sharing thoughts about tidying, "stuff" and a poem by Judith Viorst. And there's George Carlin in one of my favorite bits ever!

Linda Kulp Trout is sharing a tribute to Mary Oliver and her poem The Summer Day.

Linda B. is also sharing a remembrance of Mary Oliver and a prose excerpt from her book Upstream.

Over at Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet, Diane Mayr is sharing Moon and Water by Mary Oliver.

Jama Rattigan introduces us to her Blue Bear and shares the poem Joy Soup by William Palmer.

Little Willow is also sharing the Mary Oliver poem A Thousand Mornings.

The folks at Gathering Books are sharing Love Poem by Maggie Smith.

Tanita Davis is sharing her thoughts on Mary Oliver and two poems of hers, Whistling Swans and The Gift.

Ruth is remembering Mary Oliver and sharing past posts that highlighted her work.

Karen Edmisten is sharing an excerpt from the Mary Oliver poem Breakage.

Joan McCullough is sharing an excerpt from Mary Oliver's book Felicity.

Susan Bruck is also sharing Mary Oliver today with her poem The Swan.

Poetry Projects and Exchanges
Linda Mitchell is sharing all the lovely postcard poems she received as part of Jone McCullough's postcard exchange. These cards sport original poems written by the senders.

Kortney Garrison invites us to sign up to join the Peace Poetry Postcard exchange in February.

Carol Varsalona invites us to join her in capturing the sights and sounds of the season and using them to create artistic poetic expressions  for her annual winter gallery challenge.


  1. Thank you for this tribute to Mary Oliver. Her death is a great loss, just as her poems we're a great gift.

    I'm thinking about Marie Kondo's tidying up methods and reading Judith Viorst's poem "My Stuff" from her new collection.

  2. Loved much of Oliver's work, in particular "The Storm," in which she describes a dog in snow...very touching.

    Thanks for hosting, Tricia! Today I'm dusting of a poem I originally posted exactly 6 years ago about my step-grandfather, birds, and the Saint who connected us all:

  3. Hi Trisha, I have a post about Mary Oliver too. She will be missed, but I'm so happy that she left us with a treasure trove of poems.

    1. I forgot to add my link:

  4. And I too am so sad to hear about Mary Oliver, but we will continue to celebrate her every time we read more of her words. I wrote in her memory, too. Thanks for hosting, Tricia.

  5. That On Being episode is one of my favorites ever. Such a loss. I'm in this week sharing my new picture book, Snowman - Cold = Puddle. . Thanks for hosting!

  6. Hi Tricia! Thank you for hosting. I have one of my own poems today:

  7. This is a beautiful poem at any time (the perfection of those stanza breaks) - and so much more poignant as a tribute to Mary Oliver herself. Thank-you for sharing, and hosting today.

    I'm sharing another retrospective week of #MoPoetry2019 Insta-poems and was so keen it took me 20+hrs to realise I'd posted on Thursday... not Friday, at all... 🤭) You'll find me (still blushing) at;

  8. Mary Oliver's lost is great, but aren't we lucky that we had her in the world, and her beautiful poetry will remain. I've written a little poem this week about Luck - especially for wasps.

  9. Kurious Kitty has a moon poem by Mary Oliver to celebrate her life and in anticipation of the eclipse coming up on Sunday evening.

    Peace to all.

  10. Thanks for hosting this weekend. I cannot quite yet picture the world without a living Mary Oliver.

    "love what is mortal;
    to hold it

    against your bones knowing
    your own life depends on it;
    and, when the time comes to let it

    I'm sharing a new reading challenge and New Year postcard exchange treasures.

  11. Thank you so much for hosting and for this lovely remembrance of Mary Oliver. I look forward to listening again to the OnBeing episode and am cheered to think of others listening along too.

    I'm sharing an invitation to participate in the Peace Poetry Postcard project. Come write with us!

  12. Truly sad news, but as others have said, we are blessed that Oliver's poetry will always remain.

    I'm finally returning from holiday blog break with "Joy Soup" by William Palmer and some thoughts about the new year.

    Thanks for the beautiful poem, the On Being link, and for hosting this week! Have a nice holiday weekend.

    1. (My link goes live at 6 a.m. Friday morning.)

  13. Thanks for hosting, Tricia! This was a sad day for all in the poetry world. She was an incredible human being.

    I'm sharing an invitation to notice in remembrance of her.

  14. I am also sharing Mary Oliver:

  15. Hello all, thank you so much for hosting. Fats is sharing Maggie Smith today at GatheringBooks. Here is the link:

  16. One of the many qualities I like most about Mary Oliver is that she wanted her poetry to reach everyone. Thanks for sharing her poem, the link to the On Being interview, and for hosting this week Tricia.

    In my post I'm focusing on Justice–Remembering Martin Luther King Jr. with a golden shovel poem, remembering Mary Oliver, and sharing some art for the "Young Women's March Rally 2019 in Chicago:

  17. Hiya, T, thanks for hosting. This lovely outpouring of Mary Oliver poetry is a balm and a salve, isn't it? I'm in with my own (which won't go live 'til 8 a.m. your time tomorrow morning) -

  18. Hi Tricia, thanks for sharing this beautiful poem.

    And thank you for hosting. Today I have the second episode of The History of American Children's Poets with Lee Bennett Hopkins.

  19. Yes, Tricia, it is sad that the world has lost a beautiful poetic voice. At the end of my invitational post, I have excerpted lines from Mary Oliver's poem, "First Snow". I hope many of my Poetry Friday friends join me creating artistic poetic expressions for my annual winter gallery challenge. My post is at:

  20. Thank you for hosting and for this lovely tribute to Mary Oliver. The world has lost a great one. Today I have a few haiku and share a few more poetry postcards:

  21. Thanks so much for hosting today and for your tribute to Mary Oliver. I especially love the quote you highlighted. I'm sharing an "I am" poem and two storm-related haiku today.

  22. My heart, too, is broken at our loss of Mary Oliver. What a treasure she was. What a truth-teller. I want to stay home today and read and reread her books.

    Today I have six ekphrastic haikus with German translation...and the story behind them.

  23. Good sad morning, Tricia--I'm happy to balance that today with the joy of poems by 2nd graders. Thanks for hosting!

  24. Here's my post. I'm thinking of Mary Oliver too.
    Thanks for hosting!

  25. Hi Tricia - that poem has brought me comfort many times. Thank you! My post is a continuation of my Butterfly Hours memoir project... today's prompt is "broom," for which I wrote a poem.

  26. Thank you for hosting and for sharing the Mary Oliver poem. I look forward to reading more of her poems today. I am sharing two senryu I wrote this week for my many friends and neighbors who work for the federal government.

  27. Thank you, Tricia, for this remembrance...and for hosting. I am thinking about Mary Oliver today too. xx

  28. Hi, Tricia,
    I'm so saddened by Mary Oliver's death, too. Today I'm sharing a few lines from "Breakage." The link is here.

    Thanks for hosting today, Tricia.

  29. That was the perfect choice of a poem to honor Mary Oliver. Thank you for sharing!

  30. Thank you for hosting today. It’s so great to see all the Mary Oliver poems. (I am posting through Chrome to see if it’s better than Safari)

  31. Thanks for the Mary Oliver poems. I am unfamiliar with her work (I think), but as an environmental educator should probably bring myself up to speed. I wrote a color poem today inspired by another poet named Mary - Mary O'Neill. Thank you for hosting.

  32. Thanks for hosting. I am also responding to the loss of Mary Oliver with 2 of her poems and an original poem.

  33. I'm sharing the same poem, Tricia - my first introduction to Mary Oliver so many years ago:

  34. Thank you for hosting today, Tricia. So sad to think of a world without Mary Oliver in it, and yet how lucky we are to have her gorgeous poems to read again and again. You have shared a beauty. I couldn't pick one favorite, so I created a Golden Shovel from "Instructions For A Life" in her honor.

  35. Thank you for hosting today and for sharing your thought and some words from Mary Oliver. I shared one of her poems, too--The Swan--as well as a few words from her essay Upstream which I find very inspiring.

    I will listen to the On Being episode--I haven't heard it before.

  36. oops--I forgot my link--