If You Have Ever Gone To The Woods With Me…

How I Go to the Woods, by Mary Oliver

Ordinarily I go to the woods alone, with not a single friend, for they
are all smilers and talkers and therefore unsuitable.

I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds or hugging
the old black oak tree. I have my way of praying, as you no doubt have yours.

Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit on the top of
a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds, until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost unhearable sound of the roses

If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love you very much.

This morning I watched the deer
with beautiful lips touching the tips
of the cranberries, setting their hooves down
in the dampness carelessly, isn’t it after all 
the carpet of their house, their home, whose roof
is the sky?
Why, then, was I suddenly miserable?
Well, this is nothing much.
This is the heaviness of the body watching the swallows
gliding just under that roof.
This is the wish that the deer would not lift their heads
and leap away, leaving me there alone.
This is the wish to touch their faces, their brown wrists –
to sing some sparking poem into
the folds of their ears.

then walk with them,
over the hills
and over the hills
and into the impossible trees.

This Morning I Watched the Deer, by Mary Oliver

13 thoughts on “If You Have Ever Gone To The Woods With Me…

    • Then the best way is to walk softly in a quiet evening when the deer come out from their hiding to graze on the plains 🙂

  1. Mary Oliver is one of my favourite poets. She writes with such simplicity and with depth. She plucks at my heart. After reading this my response was to turn to the bookshelf and choose one of her books and feel the love for our Earth pour from the pages. And your wonderful pictures of deer remind me of her poem “This Morning I Watched the Deer”. Perfect!

    • It was you who brought my attention to Mary Oliver – Thank you for that, Ash.
      There might be a little editing in this post after your comment 🙂

  2. Such a beautiful poem — i’d never read it before! And such beautiful photos to accompany it. Thank you for both, Hanna.

  3. ‘hehehe’ – yep hvis man skal have selskab den slags steder så skal det være sammen med nogle man ved kan holde kæft på godt og vel de rigtige steder… 😀 😀 😀

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