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
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its lovliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkn’d ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
‘Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.
A Thing Of Beauty by John Keats