A marvelous book of poems by Mary Oliver


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Yesterday I discovered in an article the poet Mary Oliver and I read her little book of poems "Dog Songs". It is one of the best book about dogs that I ever read about them and how not just how fantastic they are, but how thanks to them we are present in this magnificent nature that surround us. Mary Oliver was considered one of the most important poet of America. She died 2 days ago.

Her book about dogs is one of the most vivid and splendid portrait of our love of dogs and why they are so important in our lives. She expresses what sometimes it is so hard to explain why we love dogs, and why they are in our lives. She talks about love and compassion and also about grief. About life and how life is a miracle and dogs also. It is a book that gives light, it is a book plain of light and beauty. Here is a poem from the book to give you an idea of her style and how she writes:
She would come back, dripping thick water, from the
green bog.
She would fall at my feet, she would draw the black skin
from her gums, in a hideous and wonderful smile—
and I would rub my hands over her pricked ears and her cunning elbows,
and I would hug the barrel of her body, amazed at the unassuming perfect arch of her neck.

It took four of us to carry her into the woods.
We did not think of music,
but anyway, it began to rain

Her wolfish, invitational half-pounce.
Her great and lordly satisfaction at having chased something.
My great and lordly satisfaction at her splash
of happiness as she barged

through the pitch pines swiping my face with her
wild, slightly mossy tongue.

Does the hummingbird think he himself invented his crimson throat?
He is wiser than that, I think.
A dog lives fifteen years, if you’re lucky.
Do the cranes crying out in the high clouds
think it is all their own music?
A dog comes to you and lives with you in your own house, but you
do not therefore own her, as you do not own the rain, or the
trees, or the laws which pertain to them.
Does the bear wandering in the autumn up the side of the hill
think all by herself she has imagined the refuge and the refreshment
of her long slumber?
A dog can never tell you what she knows from the
smells of the world, but you know, watching her,
that you know
almost nothing.
Does the water snake with his backbone of diamonds think
the black tunnel on the bank of the pond is a palace
of his own making?

She roved ahead of me through the fields, yet would come back,
or wait for me, or be somewhere.
Now she is buried under the pines.
Nor will I argue it, or pray for anything but modesty, and
not to be angry.
Through the trees there is the sound of the wind, palavering.
The smell of the pine needles, what is it but a taste
of the infallible energies?
How strong was her dark body!

How apt is her grave place.
How beautiful is her unshakable sleep.

the slick mountains of love break
over us.

There is also interesting articles about her and this marvelous book.

Dog Songs: Mary Oliver on What Dogs Teach Us About the Meaning of Our Human Lives

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