‘And now / the crows break off from the rest of the darkness’

Dear friends,

This week’s poem comes from an author whose writing is rich in solace. Mary Oliver has often been called a nature poet; and it is true that she made it her life’s work to see the wisdom and comfort of the natural world. But her poems are as much rooted in nature as they are in humanity – her understanding of its anxieties, its fears, its sorrows.

During times of despair and loneliness, her poems have been a great comfort for me and a path to peace. This one below is my favourite at the moment; I hope it can be the same for you.

Landscape, by Mary Oliver

Isn’t it plain the sheets of moss, except that
they have no tongues, could lecture
all day if they wanted about

spiritual patience? Isn’t it clear
the black oaks along the path are standing
as though they were the most fragile of flowers?

Every morning I walk like this around
the pond, thinking: if the doors of my heart
ever close, I am as good as dead.

Every morning, so far, I’m alive. And now
the crows break off from the rest of the darkness
and burst up into the sky—as though

all night they had thought of what they would like
their lives to be, and imagined
their strong, thick wings.


All my love,


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