For some time, our morning practice, before email or anthing digital, has been to read a poem aloud (sometimes with a friend). Recently, we decided to try reading the same poem every morning for a week. We discovered that each day, we’d hear it differently and find something new in those same few lines, as though another poem had somehow emerged from the original.
We were just about to hunt for a poem to include here when Susan Dworski, now living on an island in the great Pacific Northwest, threw one over our transom, with this a note:
“Raking up the thousands of maple leaves that have fallen this last week serves as our major aerobic activity now that the world has turned to the dark side.
Mary Oliver nails it in this poem from her wonderful book, A Thousand Mornings.”
Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness
Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
who would cry out
to the petals on the ground
knowing as we must
how the vivacity of what was is married
to the vitality of what will be?
I don’t say
it’s easy, but
what else will do
if the love one claims to have for the world
So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day,
though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.
If you’d like to be read a poem, or just listen to one over and over, we’ve discovered that Spotify has a Spoken Word section. Poetry: In Their Own Voices features 350 tracks of poets performing their own work, from Elizabeth Bishop to EE. Cummings to Billy Collins and Allen Ginsberg. Beautiful.