Poetry Friday: The Summer Day

Sep 14, 2018

There are just a few precious days of summer left before the Fall Equinox. So, you might want to get out there and enjoy these warm September days, dry trails and dwindling wildflowers while you can. Today's Poetry Friday segment inspires us to do just that...it's Mary Oliver's 'The Summer Day', ready by KNAU listener Heather Songster. 

This week's Poetry Friday reader, KNAU listener and traveling nurse Heather Songster
Credit Heather Songster

'The Summer Day', by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean - 

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down -

who is grazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don't know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

Poetry Friday is produced by KNAU's Gillian Ferris. If you have an idea for a segment, drop her an email at Gillian.Ferris@nau.edu.