Rain by Mary Oliver 4 Early Morning, My Birthday The snails on the pink sleds of this bodies are moving among the morning glories. The spider is asleep among the red thumbs of the raspberries. What shall I do, what shall I do? The rain is slow. The little birds are alive in it. Even the beetles. The green leaves lap it up. What shall I do, what shall I do? The wasp sits on the porch of her paper castle. The blue heron floats out of the clouds. The fish leap, all rainbow and smooth, from the dark water. This morning the water lilies are no less lovely, I think, than the lilies of Monet. And I do not want any more to be useful, to be docile, to lead children out of the fields into the text of civility, to teach them that they are (they are not) better than the grass. Mary Oliver won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 and the National Book Award in 1992. She is meditative poet, intent on capturing and celebrating the vitality of nature, aware meanwhile of mortal limits.