Friday, January 18, 2019

Poetry Friday: Breakage, by Mary Oliver

Such a short poem, "Breakage," by Mary Oliver, is.

It begins, as so many of her poems do, in the natural world, and ends, as so much of her work does, in the life of the mind, in the midst of reflection.

Here are the final lines:

First you figure out what each one means by itself, 
the jingle, the periwinkle, the scallop 
       full of moonlight. 

Then you begin, slowly, to read the whole story.

(Read the whole poem here, at The Poetry Foundation.) 

And that, dear friends, is a tiny glimpse of the wonder that was Mary Oliver.

May she rest in peace.

Mary Oliver, 1935-2019


Tricia Stohr-Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect is hosting the roundup this week.


Jone said...

Her first lines are always so stunning in their simplicity.

jama said...

Hadn't read this one before. LOVE it. Swooning over "the scallop full of moonlight." :)

Linda B said...

She taught us well, didn't she? I am loving all that everyone is sharing today, like a brief seminar on Mary Oliver. Thanks, Karen.

tanita✿davis said...

Ah, I love this one, you see so many broken shells, - nothing at all whole or shut, but tattered, split- and somehow, she still finds story within them.

Whispers from the Ridge said...

She was a true gift to us all. She taught us to live wide awake and to reflect on all things. Thank you for sharing her work!

author amok said...

Another poet/friend shared this poem. The lines that reach out to me most are:

and nothing at all whole or shut, but tattered, split,
dropped by the gulls

We all need that reminder sometimes, that it's okay to be broken -- that breakage has its own beauty.

Mary Lee said...

I'm heartbroken that she's gone. Now begins the rest of my lifetime of studying her words and her ways.

Kay said...

The world will miss her wisdom. This weekend I am savoring all of her poetry that is being shared.

Karen Edmisten said...

Many thanks to you all for stopping by and sharing in the memories of Mary Oliver's words. So beautiful to see her all over the place on Friday.