Why I wake Early is a book of poetry by Mary Oliver.  I was introduced to Oliver earlier this spring when I received this small book of poetry as a teacher gift.  Throughout the past summer, I have enjoyed reading her poems which focus on the ordinary, everyday happenings in creation.   Oliver’s poetry is truly music to the ears.  Her use of vivid, concrete language and tight poetic style is remarkable. 

I recently enjoyed her poem “Mindful” which I leave with you to enjoy and to savor.


Every day

      I see or I hear


            that more or less


kills me

   with delight,

       that leaves me

           like a needle


in the haystack

    of light.

         It is what I was born for—

               to look, to listen,


to lose myself

     inside this soft world—

          to instruct myself

            over and over


in joy,

   and acclamation.

       Nor am I talking

          about the exceptional,


the fearful, the dreadful,

     the very extravagant—

        but of the ordinary,

                the common, the very drab,


the daily presentations.

    Oh, good scholar,

        I say to myself,

             how can you help


but grow wise

    with such teachings

        as these—

             the untrimmable light


of the world,

   the ocean’s shine,

      the prayers that are made

           out of grass?

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