I Reach for Poetry

Hello again to all you writers out there, it’s Adair Heitmann here writing to you on one of the last mornings of Summer. Like many of you I have a lot on my plate, both professionally and personally, yet we all devote time to our writing careers. Over the years I’ve learned to ebb and flow with how much time I have for writing. If time is limited I enter contests for short works, or submit quarterly essays to a journal of women’s wisdom. When I have more time I devote the extra hours to my books and larger writing projects.

Recently, being in an intensely busy period with my job I didn’t even have time to do laundry, let alone write. Exhausted and running on empty I reached for my elixir of salvation, poetry. I chose the book, Red Bird by Mary Oliver. My cup filled as I opened the book to the following poem, and read it slowly.

The Orchard

I have dreamed of accomplishment.

I have fed ambition.

I have traded nights of sleep for a length of work.

Lo, and I have discovered how soft bloom

turns to green fruit which turns to sweet fruit.

Lo, and I have discovered all winds blow cold at last, and the leaves,

so pretty, so many, vanish in the great, black packet of time,

in the great, black packet of ambition,

and the ripeness of the apple is its downfall.

Mary Oliver’s poetry brings me back into my own body, my own spirit. Her words connect me to my greater self and the natural world. Oliver’s poems are simultaneously inspiring and comforting, provocative and poignant. Reading poetry puts me back in the land of the living, and sustains me to join in the dance of life the next day.

Until next time, keep on writing.

[Disclaimer: To fit The Orchard into this blog format the author had to change the layout of its original style. Apologies to Mary Oliver, but her words still ring true.]

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Published in: on September 3, 2010 at 2:10 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I’ve been meaning to invest some attention in Oliver’s work. Your sharing of her poem reminds me to recommit myself to that task. Thanks for taking the time to share your words and hers.


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