Mary Oliver’s poem, Praying, is a lesson on attention, receptivity, listening and writing

Praying

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

~ Mary Oliver ~

(Thirst)

An inspiration for a poem came to me from such receptivity to a tree. The first words entered my mind while admiring it. I wrote them down, and the next morning, I rewrote them as a stanza, and then the sequential stanzas naturally followed, reiterating what Mary Oliver describes. It was as if I was given a creative seed and it sprouted. This gift from the tree was much appreciated. I later called it Being in Nature. Its sequel, trees, was about the nature of trees, and what we can learn from them. Another poem once came to me from a rock with a sense of humor. You can read RIVER ROCK SPEAKS in my Vancouver Park Poems.

An early encounter with nature inspired my creativity. It turned into my first published poem, which won an award: ODE TO THE ARTIST, Sketching Lotus Pads at Round Prairie Park.

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5 Responses to “Mary Oliver’s poem, Praying, is a lesson on attention, receptivity, listening and writing”

  1. Being in Nature | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] What’s said here is what happened to me: Mary Oliver’s poem, Praying, is a lesson on attention, receptivity, listening and writing. […]

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  2. Mary Oliver’s Summer Day is filled with wonder | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] Related: Mary Oliver’s poem, Praying, is a lesson on attention, receptivity, listening and writing. […]

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  3. Mary Oliver’s Summer Day is filled with wonder | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] Related: Mary Oliver’s poem, Praying, is a lesson on attention, receptivity, listening and writing. […]

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  4. Mary Oliver’s transcendent experience at the lake, put into words, might leave you breathless | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] these other lovely poems by Mary Oliver: Summer Day, Varanasi, Praying, Wild Geese, and The […]

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  5. The job of a poet — someone’s gotta do it! | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] might leave you breathless.  Enjoy these other lovely poems by Mary Oliver: Summer Day, Varanasi, Praying, Wild Geese, and The […]

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