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I love discovering new poets

2 May 2011

When I was at the laundromat yesterday, I wrote in response to some of Mary Oliver‘s poems from her collection west wind. I’ve been reading these poems sporadically over the past month, and this weekend read a whole bunch of them, many for the second or third time. I just LOVE them! There is something magical in Mary Oliver’s poetry, and I can only hope that my writing will make at least one person feel the way I felt reading her work.

She had me hooked from the very first poem in the collection, “Seven White Butterflies.” I can’t choose just one section to quote, so I won’t quote it at all. You’d better go read it yourself and marvel silently for a few moments. Then read it again.

Okay, I can’t resist. Here’s the opening stanza:

Seven white buterflies
delicate in a hurry look
how they bang the pages
…….of their wings as they fly

And the closing line, which doesn’t close anything but opens up a whole world of possibilities as you search for the answer:

would have thought it could be so easy?

And the line breaks, how cleverly she uses them to mimic the butterflies’ antics.

Did I mention I love this poem?

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