Stories from the Barn

A hive of activity in the Hampshire downlands

Mary Oliver Poet

Nature poetry

Nature and Mary Oliver.

Mary Oliver poet and maker of magic inside words. Many poets take inspiration from nature. I made my discovery of Mary Oliver’s poetry when I began to take a daily walk in a local woodland and found a peace and sense of fulfillment that had been missing from my very hectic life. In my younger years I read a lot of poetry but had put it aside, the woodland walks slowed me down enough that made me want to reconnect with it.

And so I began to read the work of American poet, Mary Oliver. Mary Oliver puts nature at the heart of her poetry and she uses long solitary walks to find her inspiration. Nature is at the heart of her writing and she uses her walks in the woods to write poetry that gives us a sense of where we humans fit within the ecosystem or even to consider if we do fit or are we just interlopers?

Autumn Mornings

Autumn Mornings

Anyway I have enjoyed her writing and particularly a poem entitled ‘Song For Autumn’ and I hope you enjoy it also.

Song For Autumn

Don’t you imagine the leaves dream now
how comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of the air and the endless
freshets of wind?

And don’t you think
the trees, especially those with
mossy hollows, are beginning to look for the birds that will come, six, a dozen—to sleep
inside their bodies?

And don’t you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow?

The pond stiffens and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its long blue shadows.

The wind wags its many tails.

And in the evening
the piled firewood shifts a little
longing to be on its way.

Hollows in the trees