Early Morning , My Birthday

by Mary Oliver

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.         

4 thoughts on “Early Morning , My Birthday

  1. Thank you for the early birthday wish; my birthday is December 21. ❀ 😊 This is a title of Mary Oliver’s poem on her birthday, I suppose. Sorry for your confusion. 😊


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