Happy Anniversary–Poem of the Month’s 5th Anniversary Poem: When Death Comes

Posted by on 10.03.11 | 1 Comment
Filed Under think on these things

Poem of the Month ~~ October 2011
Happy Anniversary, Poem of the Month!
October 2006: talking about poetry with Denny, my neighbor.  A sudden inspiration: how ‘bout a flyer box in the front yard stuffed with poems?  Just a wee conversation plus one simple act, and here we are, five years and 60 poems later!  This poem was the first to kick off the whole shmeer.  Thanks Denny!
Thanks poets! And thanks to you, reading this!!


When Death Comes


When death comes

like the hungry bear in autumn;

when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse


to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;

when death comes

like the measle-pox;


when death comes

like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,


I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:

what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?


And therefore I look upon everything

as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,

and I look upon time as no more than an idea,

and I consider eternity as another possibility,


and I think of each life as a flower, as common

as a field daisy, and as singular,


and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,

tending, as all music does, toward silence,


and each body a lion of courage, and something

precious to the earth.


When it’s over, I want to say: all my life

I was a bride married to amazement.

I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.


When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder

if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,

or full of argument.


I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.


Mary Oliver from New and Selected Poems, Vol I

Copyrighted material; for educational/therapeutic purposes only



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