21 April 2011


From an American poet during National Poetry month:

Mary Oliver is a Pulitzer Prize winning poet whose poetry is both accessible and profound. She starts with the very specific in front of her and ends up talking in such a way that I'm swept up into her vision knowing it's about what I know too but challenging me to move a little further


If I envy anyone it must be
My grandmother in a long ago
Green summer, who hurried
Between kitchen and orchard on small
Uneducated feet, and took easily
All shining fruits into her eager hands.

That summer I hurried too, wakened
To books and music and circling philosophies.
I sat in the kitchen sorting through volumes of answers
That I could not solve the mystery of the trees.

My grandmother stood among her kettles and ladles.
Smiling, in faulty grammar,
She praised my fortune and urged my lofty career.
So, to please her I studied- But I will remember always
How she poured confusion out, how she cooled and labeled
All the wild sauces of the brimming year.

Mary Oliver
from: New and Selected Poems, Volume One

I love this tribute to the importance of grandmothers. How we can "pour confusion out" for our grands, "how we cool and label all the wild sauces of the brimming year." What a great description of the role we can play!


  1. What a wonderful way to be remembered....poured confusion out.....
    Very touching poem. Thanks for this post. I love poetry month - thru you!

  2. I absolutely love Mary Oliver, and this poem is so inspired. It tells exactly whereof you speak. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  3. Love Oliver! And her tribute is just awe inspiring. And plain ol' inspiring.

  4. Ohhh! I can't even tell you how much I love that!!
    Thanks for posting it!!
    PS I should send you some Peeps! :)

  5. Wonderful, wonderful. I love her too. Grandmothers are a wonderful gift to children. You are a great one.

  6. I had a glimpse of my grandmother as I was reading the poem - she had only an eighth grade education, and my mother, her daughter-in-law, didn't like her a bit. But we kids loved going to her house. She told it exactly like it was, without all the good grammar.

  7. I'm not familiar with this poem, and I'm so glad you printed it here for us. So important to remember that we learn so much from our lovely grandmothers.

  8. What struck me in this is how the encouragement and belief of someone we love and respect (grandmother, mother, teacher, whoever) can overcome self-doubt and take us to heights we never dreamed we could achieve. How important it is to remember this when we talk to children.

  9. Nanny, Thank you, it's been fun.
    DJan, I like her as well and it's her more well known poems that usually get featured but I like this since it speaks to me in this life phase.
    Lauren, Poets just say it better.
    Gabriele, Your welcome and thanks anyway about the peeps, Italy has sweets of its own to savor!
    Sally, What a sweet thing to say! Thanks.
    Linda, Great memories. She added something important to your life.
    Rosaria, Yes, lovely- I remember the big, ample lap big enough for us all.
    Patti, It's true and you never know where it will come from but it saves your life.


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