By Mary Oliver
Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous to be understood.
How grass can be nourishing in the mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds
will never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.
Let me keep my distance, always, from
those who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say
“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.
The few cured leaves pinch,
With forefinger and thumb.
Those little daredevils
do tempt the wind to come.
And as they float in place,
The white sun does rise;
They play it like a cinema
for his looking eyes.
Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken” hung on the wall of the house in which I grew up. Here it is, so that I can remember it as one of the influential details of my life.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergroth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Images of my smile and yours
Not smaller than they appear
It must be broken ’cause
Everything we need is close
What I feel when I hug
Is what I see in my head
The prisms in my eyes
Multiply the memories
That I circle when I sleep
A kiss on New Years Eve
Then proposal in the woods
Every moment memory
Where we want to be
Have a great Valentine’s Day. Keep it simple. That’s what I’m doing. And getting some work done on my paper. How romantic.
Without much to say, I’ll leave you with the following Robert Frost poem that asks you to set aside your love and experience the heartbreak of two lovers unfit for one another – a warm mature woman and a dashing, but fleeting man. What more is to be expected from winter wind?
Wind and Window Flower
Lovers, forget your love,
And list to the love of these,
She a window flower,
And he a winter breeze.
When the frosty window veil
Was melted down at noon,
And the caged yellow bird
Hung over her in tune,
He marked her through the pane,
He could not help but mark,
And only passed her by,
To come again at dark.
He was a winter wind,
Concerned with ice and snow,
Dead weeds and unmated birds,
And little of love could know.
But he sighed upon the sill,
He gave the sash a shake,
As witness all within
Who lay that night awake.
Perchance he half prevailed
To win her for the flight
From the firelit looking-glass
And warm stove-window light.
But the flower leaned aside
And thought of naught to say,
And morning found the breeze
A hundred miles away.