Monday, January 24, 2011

The Swan

The Swan
by Mary Oliver

Across the wide waters
something comes
floating—a slim
and delicate

ship, filled
with white flowers—
and it moves
on its miraculous muscles

as though time didn’t exist,
as though bringing such gifts
to the dry shore
was a happiness

almost beyond bearing.
And now it turns its dark eyes,
it rearranges
the clouds of its wings,

it trails
an elaborate webbed foot,
the color of charcoal.
Soon it will be here.

Oh, what shall I do
when the poppy-colored beak
rests in my hand?
Said Mrs. Blake of the poet:

I miss my husband’s company—
he is so often
In paradise.
Of course! the path to heaven

doesn’t lie down in flat miles.
It’s in the imagination
with which you perceive
this world,

and the gestures
with which you honor it.
Oh, what will I do, what will I say when those
white wings
touch the shore?
















No comments:

Post a Comment

In God there is no forgiveness

Julian of Norwich, the fourteenth century English anchorite and mystic, writes that in God there is no forgiveness. This, on first hear...