Saturday, August 10, 2013

Poetry Days...Three...The Journey

The Journey 
by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew 
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.


  1. You are introducing me to poems I don't know Pamela - and I love them.

  2. Wow. Doesn't this speak to every woman's life at some point. When they need to shake themselves and remember who they were before they got busy "mending" everyone else's lives. Love this one.

  3. the only one who matches mary oliver's words . . .
    always such perfectly chosen words . . .
    is you pamela.

  4. Brilliant + almost as brilliant as you. Thank you

  5. Mary Oliver is one of the best poet's going, her poems dig deep through our thick skins into our soul's deepest places. I LOVE her! Thanks for sharing one of my favorites.

  6. I enjoy Mary Oliver's poetry when a poem pops up somewhere - and keep saying I will buy an entire book full some day! She has written some inspiring words over the years - was shocked to find she is now 75 - and has lived her life the way she wanted it to be.

    You continue to find great proems to share with us Pamela - and the painting, surely a William Merritt Chase painting from his Shinnecock Hills series, illustrates the poem so well.

    Just lovely - thank you.

  7. Anonymous said it all. To not feel guilty for choosing to save yourself is the fete.



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