Monday, April 17, 2017

Bleeding Heart

The Bleeding-heart

I know a bleeding-heart plant that has thrived
for sixty years if not more, and has never
missed a spring without rising and spreading
itself into a glossy bush, with many small red
hearts dangling. Don't you think that deserves
a little thought? The woman who planted it
has been gone for a long time, and everyone
who saw it in that time has also died or moved
away and so, like so many stories, this one can't
get finished properly. Most things that are
important, have you noticed, lack a certain
neatness. More delicious, anyway, is to
remember my grandmother's pleasure when
the dissolve of winter was over and the green knobs 
and began to rise, and to create their many hearts. 
One would say she was
a simple woman, made happy by simple
things. I think this was true. And more than
once, in my long life, I have wished to be her.

Mary Oliver
Blue Iris: Poems and Essays


  1. Wonderful. :-) We've got a climbing rose that came from a plant that Doug's grandmother got from her in-laws plant. We estimate it to be at least 100 - it is a most treasured part of our world! And the generally blooms on Doug's grandmother's birthday.

  2. you can never go wrong with Mary Oliver on a Monday morning. Bleeding hearts remind me of growing up in the city of Pittsburgh in our back yard playing. They grew there of course!

  3. Beautiful picture and beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Thank you for posting a Mary Oliver poem I have not read. It brought to mind my own grandmother and her love of lilacs and peonies. Bleeding hearts are one of my favorite flowers. I saw a few branches yesterday that are forming buds. I will keep this poem with me when they come into view.

  5. Mary Oliver never fails to delight.

  6. Mary Oliver and your Bleeding Hears fill me with gladness!

  7. Beautiful ... surely thought and smile-provoking - thank you so much for sharing! (I think I need to be more mindful about not being neat ;-)


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