Friday, August 6, 2021

Poetry on Friday

I haven't read or posted any poetry for several months, so I think a poem is long overdue. 

The Sunflowers
Mary Oliver

Come with me
into the field of sunflowers.
Their faces are burnished disks,
their dry spines

creak like ship masts,
their green leaves,
so heavy and many,
fill all day with the sticky

sugars of the sun.
Come with me
to visit the sunflowers,
they are shy

but want to be friends;
they have wonderful stories
of when they were young -
the important weather,

the wandering crows.
Don't be afraid
to ask them questions!
Their bright faces,

which follow the sun,
will listen, and all
those rows of seeds -
each one a new life! -

hope for a deeper acquaintance;
each of them, though it stands
in a crowd of many,
like a separate universe,

is lonely, the long work
of turning their lives
into a celebration
is not easy. Come

and let us talk with those modest faces,
the simple garments of leaves,
the coarse roots in the earth
so uprightly burning.

Oliver, Mary. "The Sunflowers." Dream Work, The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1986. 
You can read more about the poet here


I wish you mindfulness, peace, good health, the ability to talk with those modest faces, and poetry as the week winds down.


  1. I wish the same for you, Bonny. Have a lovely weekend with your family.

  2. Mary Oliver wrote such beautiful poetry. Thank you for sharing this one.

  3. Beautiful, Bonny! (I just got a new poetry book this week and I am anxious to settle in with it this weekend!)

  4. Mary Oliver always offers a welcome respite! Thanks for sharing, Bonny. (And Dream Works is my favorite Mary Oliver collection. . . )

  5. yes - that "talking with the modest faces" is my favorite line ... thank you for sharing!

  6. She captures so well the friendliness of sunflowers! They make me happy every time I see them, and I'm sorry we didn't grow any this year (the roofing project got in the way). But I've been enjoying the ones around the neighborhood, as have the neighborhood critters.

  7. I have never seen this Oliver poem so thank you. Very few poets hold a candle to Mary Oliver - in my opinion, of course. I have been admiring the sunflowers in the neighborhood while walking. Now I will admire them and think of this poem.


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