poems by mary oliver

Finished reading Mary Oliver’s little book of poems A Thousand Mornings.

Here are a few I liked.

The Mockingbird

All summer
the mocking bird
in his pearl-gray coat
and his white-windowed wings

from the hedge to the top of the pine
and begins to sing, but it’s neither
lilting nor lovely,

for he is the thief of other sounds–
whistles and truck brakes and dry hinges
plus all the songs
of other birds in his neighborhood;

mimicking and elaborating,
he sings with humor and bravado
so I have to wait a long time
for the softer voice of his own life

to come through. He begins
by giving up all his usual flutter
and setting down on the pine’s forelock
then looking around

as though to make sure he’s alone;
then he slaps each wing against his breast,
where his heart is,
and, copying nothing, begins

easing into it
as though it was not half so easy
as rollicking,
as though his subject now

was his true self,
which of course was as dark and secret,
as anyone else’s
and it was too hard—
perhaps you understand—
to speak or to sing it
to anything or anyone
but the sky.

I like that one in a personal way. Also this one:


I have decided to find myself a home

in the mountains, somewhere high up

where one learns to live peacefully in

the cold and the silence. It’s said that

in such a place certain revelations may

be discovered. That what the spirit

reaches for may be eventually felt, if not

exactly understood. Slowly, no doubt. I’m

not talking about about a vacation.

Of course at the same time I mean to

stay exactly where I am.

Are you following me?

And one more.


The man who has many answsers

is often found

in the theaters of information

where he offers, graciously,

his deep findings.

While the man who has only questions,

to comfort himself, makes music.

Do I have to even say why I relate to that one. Egotistical I know.


Sree.net: Sree Sreenivasan * @sree

Digital media expert at Columbia. Elizabeth pointed him out to. Thank you Elizabeth.


A Real-Life Invisibility Cloak – NYTimes.com

Watch out Harry Potter. First microwaves, then lightwaves.


Inside Syria, a Grandma Faces Down War – NYTimes.com

On the ground in Syria. Thank you Nicholas Kristoff.


Struggle Over, Philip Roth Reflects on Putting Down His Pen – NYTimes.com


You Can’t Say That on the Internet – NYTimes.com

How do you teach the idea of “fair use” to an algorithm?


SongwritingWith – Soldiers Eases Way for Soldiers – NYTimes.com

This reminds me of my own relationship to song writing which has often been one of personal therapy.


Anybody Notice a Pattern? – NYTimes.com

McCain was so desperate to sound the alarm that he missed a classified briefing on Benghazi to hold a press conference complaining that he had not been given enough information. Which clearly he hadn’t. He knew nothing! Nothing whatsoever! And what was the administration going to do about that?
“It is essential for the Congress to conduct its own independent assessment,” said the senator, demanding that Congress form a special committee to look into Libya. This would be a double benefit, helping to inform all the members who missed their normal committee briefings while also addressing the continuing national crisis over the shortage of congressional committees

Warning. Article by and for damn liberals.


Beware the Big Data Campaign – NYTimes.com

Basically increased efficiency in turning out votes is surprisingly not necessarily good for democracy.


Courting Jim Crow – Opinion – Al Jazeera English

Worth reading even you find it too liberal at first.



Moshi Monsters – Adopt Your Own Pet Monster!

Social media for little people. Thank you to Sarah for this link.

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