sunday bear: mary oliver from New Poems (1991-1992)

"Hilda" by Barbara Ferrier (cream mohair, hand knitted sweater, hand stitched pink nose, gold locket, 1992)

Spring Azures
by Mary Oliver

In spring the blue azures bow down
at the edges of shallow puddles
to drink the black rain water.
Then they rise and float away into the fields.

Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy,
and all the tricks my body knows —
the opposable thumbs, the kneecaps,
and the mind clicking and clicking —

don’t seem enough to carry me through the world
and I think how I would like

to have wings —
blue ones —
ribbons of flame.

How I would like to open them, and rise
from the black rain water.

And then I think of Blake, in the dirt and sweat of London — a boy
staring through the window, when God came
fluttering up.

Of course, he screamed,
seeing the bobbin of God’s blue body
leaning on the sill,
and the thousand-faceted eyes.

Well, who knows.
Who knows what hung, fluttering, at the window
between him and the darkness.

Anyway, Blake the hosier’s son stood up
and turned away from the sooty sill and the dark city —
turned away forever
from the factories, the personal strivings,

to a life of the imagination.

Copyright © 1992 Mary Oliver (New and Selected Poems, published by Beacon Press). All rights reserved.

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LAST WEEK’S DOOR PRIZE WINNERS

The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub by Susan Katz and Robert Neubecker: Linda Baie from Teacher Dance

UnBEElievables by Douglas Florian: Tabatha Yeatts from The Opposite of Indifference

CONGRATULATIONS LINDA AND TABATHA! Please send me your snail mail address so I can get your books out to you: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com.

Thanks for all your wonderful comments, Everyone!

***

Week of April 23 – 30, 2012

Guest Poets:

  • April 23: Doraine Bennett
  • April 24: Janet Wong
  • April 25: Jill Corcoran
  • April 26: Kay Pluta
  • April 27: Heidi Bee Roemer
  • April 30: Lee Wardlaw

Door Prizes:

  • The Declaration of Interdependence by Janet Wong (Poetry Suitcase, 2012)
  • Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku by Lee Wardlaw and Eugene Yelchin (Henry Holt, 2011)
  • A Stick is an Excellent Thing by Marilyn Singer and LeUyen Pham (Clarion Books, 2012) – Previously unannounced surprise door prize!

**Comment on any post (April 23-28) to be eligible to win!

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♥ Today’s Sunday Bear Hug is brought to you by Cornelius Oliver, who has renamed himself after his favorite poet. He requests that everyone wear blue today in Mary’s honor.

(((MARY)))(((MARY)))(((MARY))))(((MARY))))

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Copyright © 2012 Cornelius Oliver Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

13 thoughts on “sunday bear: mary oliver from New Poems (1991-1992)

  1. Are all these beautiful bears, yours, Jama? They all look so well-loved!🙂 I just heaved a sigh and yet another as I read these lines from Mary Oliver:

    “Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy,
    and all the tricks my body knows –
    the opposable thumbs, the kneecaps,
    and the mind clicking and clicking –

    don’t seem enough to carry me through the world
    and I think how I would like

    to have wings –
    blue ones –
    ribbons of flame.

    How I would like to open them, and rise
    from the black rain water.”

    — classic lines. Pierces the soul, cuts right through it with startling beauty.🙂

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    1. This poem really resonated with me too, Myra. You can just feel the exhiliration, can’t you?

      All the Sunday Bears live with us. Some, like Hilda, are on display somewhere in the house, but many others are stored in the basement. I started Sunday Bear to motivate myself to open up those boxes and take stock of who’s down there. (There are about 300 bears in the collection.)

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  2. I love each Sunday at your place, Jama, & today, what a lovely surprise, to win a prize! Thank you. I will send the address. And Mary Oliver begins the week with inspiration again. Myra quoted the lines that I like, but I do have a butterfly this am because my granddaughter Ingrid is here & a trip to the grocery meant choosing a balloon! Thanks for your Sunday bear, Jama!

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  3. I’m wearing blue, too! Turquoise! This poem!!! It’s new to me and I thought I’d read all of Mary Oliver’s. Gorgeous bear from Jama’s Hall of Fame of Bears.

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