Preserving poetry


If I envy anyone it must be My grandmother in a long ago Green summer, who hurried Between kitchen and orchard on small Uneducated feet, and took easily All shining fruits into her eager hands.

That summer I hurried too, wakened To books and music and circling philosophies. I sat in the kitchen sorting through volumes of answers That could not solve the mystery of the trees.

My grandmother stood among her kettles and ladles. Smiling, in faulty grammar, She praised my fortune and urged my lofty career: So to please her I studied - but I will remember always How she poured confusion out, how she cooled and labeled All the wild sauces of the brimming year.

By Mary Oliver, from New and Selected Poems, Volume 1