Friday, February 24, 2012

The dreaming moon

Maybe poems aren't so dangerous after all. Maybe the dangerous thing is not writing them. Is not listening to the voice.


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.


Ellen D. said...

Gosh, I have this poem in the front of my morning pages right now. I had it memorized a year ago (now have to re-memorize it!)

Melissa said...

Amazing. I only heard this poem for the first time a couple of weeks ago, but it's immediately one of my favorites. It's worth memorizing.