I’m sharing this poem for a number of reasons.
One, Mary Oliver is a deeply beloved American poet, and has been a deeply beloved poet for many years.
Two, there has been a gap in my education, in that I have not read very many of her poems.
Three, her most recent volume of poetry, A Thousand Mornings, published in October of 2012, has been warmly received by lovers of poetry.
Four, I have been reading little bits of A Thousand Mornings, and taking great happiness in them. Mary Oliver says more in the things that go unsaid in the spaces in between words and lines than a lot of people do in the words and lines. Got that?
Five, I consider this poem to vibrate quite sympathetically with the experience of studying Steps to Knowledge. I’m patiently waiting for an opportunity to use the phrase “voodoos of ambition.” Mary Oliver seems to have originated that phrase.
Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.
The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.
But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.
Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.
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