Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday Time

The Journey by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

This poem by Mary Oliver spoke to me so strongly of my restless teen years.  Tell me about one or more of your favorite poems.  How does it speak to you?  How does it ring true for you?


  1. Love your new blog font, Ma! Very readable. How did you do that?

    And, Mary Oliver is such a favorite of mine. As I was unpacking and moving books around this week I hatched a Thursday 13 post for somewhere down the road... 13 favorite poets and favorite poem of each. That will take me a bit of work, but seems fun...

    Not being quite the restless soul as you were, I can still relate to the poem. She's got a gift with words...

  2. I too love Mary Oliver's poetry and this poem,
    The Journey, meant a lot to me when I turned 60 and started my new life.