Thursday, April 24, 2014

Poem in Your Pocket Day 2014

As part of National Poetry Month, the wonderfully creative poets and poetry lovers at the Academy of American Poets at annually hold a day called Poem in Your Pocket Day.

On this day, we are to slip a copy of a favorite poem into our pockets, pulling it out to share with friends, co-workers, etc. And while I do have a poem printed up to share with my Expository Essay class at today's ECII Class Day co-op meeting, I also want to pull this poem from my virtual pocket to share it with you all.

This poem was shared with me just yesterday--and wasn't at all the poem I had planned to share (I was leaning toward another offering by my favorite poet, e.e. cummings). A friend of mine who isn't the first person of whom I think when the term "poetry" comes to mind, heard this poem on NPR this week, found a copy, and e-mailed it to me. She's a gifted gardener, so I can see why this poem in particular would appeal to her; it is truly lovely...and thought-provoking as well, as all truly great poems are.

So here's the poem I will have in my pocket (or at least in my briefcase since my skirt has no pockets) throughout the day today:

Poem in Your Pocket Day 2014

~ Mary Oliver
I don’t know where prayers go,
or what they do.
Do cats pray, while they sleep
half-asleep in the sun?
Does the opossum pray as it
crosses the street?
The sunflowers? The old black oak
growing older every year?
I know I can walk through the world,
along the shore or under the trees,
with my mind filled with things
of little importance, in full
self-attendance.  A condition I can’t really
call being alive.
Is a prayer a gift, or a petition,
or does it matter?
The sunflowers blaze, maybe that’s their way.
Maybe the cats are sound asleep.  Maybe not.
While I was thinking this I happened to be standing
just outside my door, with my notebook open,
which is the way I begin every morning.
Then a wren in the privet began to sing.
He was positively drenched in enthusiasm,
I don’t know why.  And yet, why not.
I wouldn’t persuade you from whatever you believe
or whatever you don’t.  That’s your business.
But I thought, of the wren’s singing, what could this be
if it isn’t a prayer?
So I just listened, my pen in the air.

Wishing you all a wonderful day of sharing poetry...or perhaps having poetry shared with YOU!! 

Poetically yours,


Sabrina said...

That is a very nice poem. Thank you for posting it.

Susanne Barrett said...

Thank you!!! :)


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