Saturday, September 19, 2009

For openers

Our rabbi Esther opened today’s Rosh Hashanah service with this wonderful poem by Mary Oliver:

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?


Blogger lacochran said...

I really like that. Thanks for sharing.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous lr said...

I have the closing for our EfM group Monday night, where we will be celebrating the life of one of our members who died this summer. I've been looking for the right words. Mary Oliver's poem feels just right. In doing a little research on her, I came upon this website and thought you might enjoy it, too. Scroll down to his links to favorite poems. You'll see The Summer Day. Click on it for another beautiful photograph. Thank you for your blogs; they often inspire.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

LA -- Yes, Mary Oliver is a winner of a poet!

LR -- So glad you can use this poem. And yes, the photo on the site you mentioned is spectacular!

9:03 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous.

8:11 PM  

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