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Friday, May 22, 2015

Poetry Friday--"A Letter from Home"

We've had quite a sad week here at the Library. We lost our friend, and our co-worker, Jena. It is difficult to put into words what the loss means to each of us. I've selected a poem today from New and Selected Poems by Mary Oliver [811 OLI], which I hope can speak in some way to everyone who grieves.
A Letter from Home

She sends me news of bluejays, frost,
Of stars and now the harvest moon
That rides above the stricken hills.
Lightly, she speaks of cold, of pain,
And lists what is already lost.
Here where my life seems hard and slow,
I read of glowing melons piled
Beside the door, and baskets filled
With fennel, rosemary and dill,
While all she could not gather in
Or hide in leaves, grow black and falls.
Here where my life seems hard and strange,
I read her wild excitement when
Stars climb, frost comes, and bluejays sing.
The broken year will make no change
Upon her wise and whirling heart;--
She knows how people always plan
To live their lives, and never do.
She will not tell me if she cries.

I touch the crosses by her name;
I fold the pages as I rise,
And tip the envelope, from which
Drift scraps of borage, woodbine, rue.

The Poetry Friday Round-Up is being held by Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme. Matt is a New Hampshire poet and has recently sold a picture book. Congratulations, Matt!

Photo by Tony Alter, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.


  1. You can count on Mary Oliver at moments like this. I've turned to her at times of grief, as well. So sorry for your loss, Diane.

    1. Thanks Michelle. These lines really grabbed my heart: She knows how people always plan
      To live their lives, and never do.

  2. **tears**

    I didn't know your friend, but I grieve with you.