In her poem, Mockingbirds, Mary Oliver teaches us how to listen, and be transformed by wonder

Our attention is the greatest gift we can give to someone, or something. It can transform our world. Mary Oliver’s poem, Mockingbirds, teaches us how to listen, and experience the wonders around us.

Mockingbirds

by Mary Oliver

This morning
two mockingbirds
in the green field
were spinning and tossing

the white ribbons
of their songs
into the air.
I had nothing

better to do
than listen.
I mean this
seriously.

In Greece,
a long time ago,
an old couple
opened their door

to two strangers
who were,
it soon appeared,
not men at all,

but gods.
It is my favorite story–
how the old couple
had almost nothing to give

but their willingness
to be attentive–
but for this alone
the gods loved them

and blessed them–
when they rose
out of their mortal bodies,
like a million particles of water

from a fountain,
the light
swept into all the corners
of the cottage,

and the old couple,
shaken with understanding,
bowed down–
but still they asked for nothing

but the difficult life
which they had already.
And the gods smiled, as they vanished,
clapping their great wings.

Wherever it was
I was supposed to be
this morning–
whatever it was I said

I would be doing–
I was standing
at the edge of the field–
I was hurrying

through my own soul,
opening its dark doors–
I was leaning out;
I was listening.

###

Mary Oliver left us at the beginning of this year. To learn more about this amazed poet and her amazing poetry, see: RIP: Mary Oliver. Thank you for sharing your poetic gifts with us. They are a national treasure!

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3 Responses to “In her poem, Mockingbirds, Mary Oliver teaches us how to listen, and be transformed by wonder”

  1. Suzanne Hooper Says:

    I LOVE Mary Oliver! Her words make a beeline for my heart, every time. Thank you for sharing this beauty ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. RIP: Mary Oliver. Thank you for sharing your poetic gifts with us. They are a national treasure! | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] Iris, When I Am Among The Trees, Lingering In Happiness, At Blackwater Pond, Don’t Hesitate, Mockingbirds, and When Death Comes, which was included here in her obituary posted on Jan 17, […]

    Like

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