The Power of Poetry

I believe that poetry, both reading and writing it, has the power to fill our hearts, change our minds, and feed our souls. When prose refuses to bend and comply with my expressive wishes I turn to poetry in order to get my feelings on paper. I prefer accessible poems and poets who I can relate to, who see the world in such minute detail that I view the world in new ways and come to think and feel differently.

Early morning is the most conducive time to write poetry, read poems, or read about poetry. The stillness and quiet, the blue gray light of dawn, a bird singing somewhere on a tree branch. The sun peeking like a rose over the tips of the trees all lend an ethereal feel that sings poetry to me.

Today I received Mary Oliver's newest collection of poems called "Devotions."

It is a collection of poems from all of her previous books. I never tire of reading her work. So singularly does she describe the fauna and flora of her native homes of Ohio as a child, Provincetown, Massachusetts as a grown woman, and now Florida as she enters her 80s and continues to be the diva of nature poetry.

Having all these poems in one book is heaven, and knowing these are favorites fills my heart. Touching the book brings pleasure and I will drink in each poem slowly and with great attention and care.

I plan to use these poems as launching points for some new poems of my own. She is such an inspiration in all ways. No one I have read ever has described a swan as a boat filled with white flowers, or a blue heron as a Buddha, or the tight green fist of a peony bud as something powerful enough to break her heart as the pink lace like petals unfurl in the spring sunshine.

I know reading these poems again will enable me to see my own natural environment as the treasure that it is and to be able to write poems that honor each moment I spend outdoors in this world.

Thank you Mary Oliver for your poems and your astonished attention to nature, and to your ability to tell about it in the most beautiful ways.


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