Friday, April 1, 2011

The Journey

April is National Poetry Month, so I'll start off the celebration with one of my (many) favorites from Pulitzer Prize winner, Mary Oliver:

The Journey

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.

Related postings:
In My Grandfather's Voice: Found Poetry
365 Project: April
Earth Day 2010
Poetry of Another Sort
A Poetry Sampler
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
The Bloggers

photo by Jackie Cordell


Colette Cassinelli said...

I LOVE that poem too! Thanks for sharing.

diane said...


Mary Oliver speaks to both my love of nature and my love of "images." I hadn't read this poem before I named my blog, but it captures my feelings exactly.