FreeVerse: “Small Bodies” by Mary Oliver

by , under books and reading, poetry

So often, I think about participating in FreeVerse, a weekly meme hosted by Cara at Ooh…Books! on Wednesdays. And so often, Wednesday sneaks up on me and I think, “Darn it, it’s already Wednesday again and I don’t have a poem to post for FreeVerse!” Today, I brought one of my Mary Oliver books to work with me, Red Bird from 2008, skimmed through it, and decided to post a poem called “Small Bodies.” Then, I found out that although some of the restrictions of the recent change in our web filtering program have been loosened, and I’m able to read blogs with blogspot, typepad, or wordpress urls, when I typed in to try to write a post, I got blocked. So here it is, about 8 1/2 hours later than I originally hoped to post it, but still technically Wednesday. Without further ado, a poem by the amazing and wonderful Mary Oliver.

Small Bodies

It is almost summer. In the pond
the pickerel leap, and the delicate teal have brought forth
their many charming young,
and the turtle is ravenous.
It is hard sometimes, oh Lord,
to be faithful.
I am more boldly made
than the little ducks, paddling and laughing.
But not so bold
as the turtle
with his greasy mouth.
I know you know everything –
I rely on this.
Still, there are so many small bodies in the world,
for which I am afraid.

— Mary Oliver

© All the parts of my life 2008-2015.

  1. Marie

    Wow, I like that one. I'm not feeling particularly poetic this morning, but this inspires me. It's easy for me to understand and reflect on in a quick reading of it. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Kelly

    I love Mary Oliver and this one is marvelous!!

    I hope to share some of her work in a future FreeVerse, too.

  3. HeathMochaFrost

    Hey Marie! I'm glad you liked the poem, & thanks for the comment. When I'm looking for a poem to post, length (shorter) and clarity (on some level) are two things I always consider. I guess I did okay on this one! 😉

    Kelly – It's great to meet another Mary Oliver fan! Thanks for reading and for the comment!

    Cara – You're very welcome, and I hope you have a chance to read more of her work. Thank you for leaving me a comment!


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