Tuesday, 16 of September of 2014

Mary Oliver – Sunflowers

Who is She?

On a return visit to Austerlitz, in the late 1950s, Oliver met photographer Molly Malone Cook, who would become her partner for over forty years.[4]  In Our world she says “I took one look and fell, hook and tumble.” Cook was also Oliver’s literary agent.

They made their home largely in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where they lived until Cook’s death in 2005, and where Oliver still lives.[5]  Greatly valuing her personal privacy, Oliver has given very few interviews, saying she prefers for her writing to speak for itself.[1]

 ~

Come with me
into the field of sunflowers.
Their faces are burnished disks,
their dry spines

creak like ship masts,
their green leaves,
so heavy and many,
fill all day with the sticky

sugars of the sun.
Come with me
to visit the sunflowers,
they are shy

but want to be friends;
they have wonderful stories
of when they were young -
the important weather,

the wandering crows.
Don’t be afraid
to ask them questions!
Their bright faces,

which follow the sun,
will listen, and all
those rows of seeds -
each one a new life!

hope for a deeper acquaintance;
each of them, though it stands
in a crowd of many,
like a separate universe,

is lonely, the long work
of turning their lives
into a celebration
is not easy. Come

and let us talk with those modest faces,
the simple garments of leaves,
the coarse roots in the earth
so uprightly burning.


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