Oliver, Mary (1935 - )
Mary Oliver is an American, critically acclaimed poet, one of the most widely read and popular contemporary American poet living. Some describe her as 'far and away the best selling American poet'. She is known for her poignant mindfulness and love of nature. Today my prompt is her poem 'I want' from her collection called Evidence.
A minor co-conspirator
The tigerlily in a patch of weeds,
the peacock unfurling jewelled kilts in monsoon -
well, I am not them, I prefer to keep
a lower profile, I’d just as soon
be a blade of grass, their edges sharp and keen their thrust,
the stunning white plumes in a field of reeds,
the compelling rasp that makes you slip
off your sandals and stand barefoot, hushed.
A co-conspirator, but a minor one.
A tigerlily’s costume pricks, the peacock’s air
is surly, a humourless bird with a fancy train
weighing him down. I’d rather nothing showy or rare;
a blade of grass is fine, as sacred as other, showier leaves,
more so than tigerlilies playing dress up in golden
leopard prints; maybe a sparrow, that returns againto nest in your skylights, to rest under your eaves.
Once upon a time I lived in sparsely populated, isolated spaces, the wilderness was the backyard, and while we didn't have to do without any of the mod cons, nature was a visible presence, seasons were starkly felt. I am not a big city person even now, a few years of that spoils one forever, Where would you choose to live, if you had the choice?
Posted for the A-Z Challenge 2015.