Fall 1987 • Vol. IX No. 4 PoetryOctober 1, 1987 |

As Spring Approaches, I Think about Poetry

This curse you mutter on yourself,these daily imperfections that make youblame yourself when it's the worldthat guarantees you won't be perfect;the selfishness of words that wantwhat they want after all and youhave nothing to do with them—givenevery effort they'll abandonyou nevertheless—whydo you do it? Because the wind has taken hold today. It has strippedthe birds of their tiny songs and sends cloudscrashing across their marble slab.It shakes the outstretched dark curvesof the trees, from the delicate tips that prodthe sky with a hesitant question downthrough moist roots that burrow below sight,piercing the ground with the sameperpetual question. Leaves that fell on schedule it tossesinto a final tarantella, and it pries loosethose few that have clung all winterto the naked shafts, hopingfor a second summer. Because it's notrage, nor passion, but a terrible mercy that reclaimsour flimsy bodies, that, one day,as spring approaches or as the wind takes hold,parts the br

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Indonesia

By Mary Oliver

This curse you mutter on yourself,these daily imperfections that make youblame yourself when it's the worldthat guarantees you won't be perfect;the selfishness of words that wantwhat they want after all […]

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