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The Poet: Mary Oliver, “Evidence”

Saturday, November 5, 2016 18:17
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“Where do I live?

 If I had no address, as many people do not,

 I could nevertheless say that I lived in the same town as the lilies of the field,

 and the still waters.

Spring, and all through the neighborhood now there are

strong men tending flowers.

Beauty without purpose is beauty without virtue. 

But all beautiful things, inherently, have this function -

to excite the viewers toward sublime thought. 

Glory to the world, that good teacher.

Among the swans there is none called the least,

 or the greatest.

I believe in kindness. Also in mischief.

 Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.

As for the body, it is solid and strong and curious and full of detail;

 it wants to polish itself; it wants to love another body; 

it is the only vessel in the world that can hold,

 in a mix of power and sweetness: 

words, song, gesture, passion, ideas,

ingenuity, devotion, merriment, vanity, and virtue.

Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.”

- Mary Oliver


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