Reason number 1001 why I like taking yoga classes: my instructor reads good poetry, unironically, to us. Today when she read this, I got goosebumps. Also, it was cold in the room... but seriously, the imagery is lovely and the sentiment is something I am working hard to take to heart.
Also, and I don't know whether this is an embarrassing thing to admit or not, but I believe Mary Oliver is new to me. I get the impression that a lot of people know who she is and have discovered her before. She's new to me but this won't be the last poem you see by her here, I suspect.
Today's poem I have snagged from Famous Poets and Poems. Thanks to Cara at Ooh... Books! for hosting FreeVerse!
by Mary Oliver
Oh, to love what is lovely, and will not last!
What a task
of anything, or anyone,
yet it is ours,
and not by the century or the year, but by the hours.
One fall day I heard
above me, and above the sting of the wind, a sound
I did not know, and my look shot upward; it was
a flock of snow geese, winging it
faster than the ones we usually see,
and, being the color of snow, catching the sun
so they were, in part at least, golden. I
held my breath
as we do
to stop time
when something wonderful
has touched us
as with a match,
which is lit, and bright,
but does not hurt
in the common way,
as if delight
were the most serious thing
you ever felt.
I have never seen them again.
Maybe I will, someday, somewhere.
Maybe I won't.
It doesn't matter.
is that, when I saw them,
I saw them
as through the veil, secretly, joyfully, clearly.