“Poetry and music can alert people to the realms beyond the ordinary”; David Brooks from the New York Times. We all have stories, maybe we conceive them as simple gossip, but stories they are and when we say them out loud we are changed. In my July column I shared I’d be featuring a poet a column. This month’s featured poet is Mary Oliver. She is an American winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. The piece I am going to offer here is actually prose. Thus can we expand the idea of what we poets do.
Her work speaks to us who live as she does; in a small fishing village in Rhode Island…“I too fell in love with the town, that marvelous convergence of land and water; Mediterranean light; fishermen who made their living by hard and difficult work from frighteningly small boats…”
Thousands of small fish are moving along in the shallows: a flock, a flight under the weight of water, dipping and rising, loose-spined; their fins, rowing, are minute and precise; they are energy-packets; six would fit into a thimble, all gauze and glaze, and all translucent__the pipeline of appetite clear in each body. Thousands and thousands__a throng of rainbows, a pod, an enormous pack, yet they swing along as a single rainbow, one wing, one thing, one traveler. Their mouths are open, fierce colanders scooping in the diatoms. They turn to the right, the left. They dash and hover….
It is summer, the long twilight. I stare and stare into the water. I say to myself, which one am I?
Mary Oliver from Blue Pastures
Here is contained an entire story, a whole book even…and read aloud becomes a soothing grace to our ears.
Music listened to or played by us changes our brain, so then does listening to or reading aloud poetry, prose or stories. It is a sure fire antidote to the summer time shut in blues…do you have stories to tell, poems to read? Let’s get together.