Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Celebrating Poetry: I Worried by Mary Oliver

I Worried
by Mary Oliver

I worried a lot.  Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up.  And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.

From Swan

April is National Poetry Month. I'll share a poem each week to celebrate.


  1. Mary Oliver was one of the first poets who really ignited my poetlove. I adore her.

  2. This one really spoke to me. I worry about everything..drives me crazy!

  3. This is a great poem. Like Staci, I worry about everything too!

  4. Robby - Poetry is a very recent 'discovery' for me. I was so happy when another blogger introduced me to Mary Oliver. Just picked up this collection at the Borders store closing sale.

    Staci and Darlene - I'm a worrier, too. This poem serves as a reminder that it's not going to get me anywhere! So glad you enjoyed it.

  5. I've never considered myself a poetry person, but that was beautiful. I was drawn to it, of course, because I am a worrier. (I had to laugh at worrying about lockjaw! I'm not quite at that level.) Thanks for brightening my day!

  6. That's beautiful - thanks for sharing.

  7. Thanks for this one, JoAnn. Mary Oliver is one of my favorites.

  8. Mary Oliver is one of the few poets I actually like.

  9. Sandy - I'm just taking my first baby steps with poetry, but I love it when one really 'speaks ' to me like this!

    Carrie K. - I think many of us can relate to this one. Glad you liked it.

    Gavin - Poetry has only been a part of my reading for the past six months or so, but I already have a couple of favorites like Mary Oliver.

    Softdrink - Me, too! I've never been much of a poetry person, but Mary Oliver is making me rethink that position.

  10. Can I borrow this idea and credit you? Gotta spread the poetry love ;)

  11. Read the Book -No need to credit me, lots of bloggers are sharing poetry this month. Look forward to your selections!

  12. Lovely! Worrying is so unproductive.
    You know writing poetry isn't as easy as it looks sometimes. :)

  13. Georgia Girls - Worrying IS so unproductive, but I really need to keep reminding myself. This poem is perfect for that!

  14. I am just starting to read Mary Oliver too. This poem instantly made me calm down. I need to post it...everywhere!

  15. Abby - I'm very new to poetry reading. Mary Oliver is my first favorite - just love that poem!

  16. I like this one! I know that as I get older, I worry more about my eventual "fate". I think that Mary Oliver has a way of speaking to so many of us, through her poems.

  17. Valerie - May Oliver is a treasure. Can't believe I just learned of her work this past year... her work really resonates with me.

  18. What a perfect poem. I just saw this post on your sidebar today so came over to read it.

    1. Terra - Thank you for finding this post and commenting today! It gave me the opportunity to reread the poem... and it was just what I needed this afternoon :)


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