Willing to Be Dazzled

waterlily6

Every year
the lilies
are so perfect
I can hardly believe

their lapped light crowding
the black,
mid-summer ponds.
Nobody could count all of them—

But what in this world
is perfect?

I bend closer and see
how this one is clearly lopsided—
and that one wears an orange blight—
and this one is a glossy cheek

half nibbled away—
and that one is a slumped purse
full of its own
unstoppable decay.

Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled—
to cast aside the weight of facts

and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking

into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing—
that the light is everything—that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and falling. And I do.
~Mary Oliver from “The Ponds”

waterlily5

…the wands
        of the lilies
            quicken, they rise

like pale poles
    with their wrapped beaks of lace;
        one day
            they tear the surface,

the next they break open
    over the dark water.
        And there you are
            on the shore,

fitful and thoughtful, trying
    to attach them to an idea —
        some news of your own life.
            But the lilies

are slippery and wild—they are
    devoid of meaning, they are
        simply doing,
            from the deepest

spurs of their being,
    what they are impelled to do
        every summer.
            And so, dear sorrow, are you.
~Mary Oliver from “The Lilies Break Forth over the Dark Water”

tennant7

tennant13

If you have forgotten water lilies floating
On a dark lake among mountains in the afternoon shade,
If you have forgotten their wet, sleepy fragrance,
Then you can return and not be afraid.

But if you remember, then turn away forever
To the plains and the prairies where pools are far apart,
There you will not come at dusk on closing water lilies,
And the shadow of mountains will not fall on your heart.
~Sara Teasdale

tennant12

sunset531152

One thought on “Willing to Be Dazzled

  1. I have no words to describe the hidden depths and beauty that I find in Mary Oliver’s poetry. Her words wash over my soul with the recognition that I know exactly what she is saying — soul to soul.

    Thank you for sharing Mary and your lovely pics with us today, Emily.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s