Thursday, October 11, 2007
Provincetown - Photo by S. Auberle
"Be ignited or be gone."
- Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver, a fine, fine poet and my hero(ine) lives in Provincetown. All the days I was there I searched for her--stores, faces, beaches, roads. Not that I expected to find her, but oh what a fine thing that would have been... Here is one of her poems that is a favorite of mine:
"You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you of mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things."