Resources on poetry by the poets themselves

Word Pools! Mary Oliver's Sunrise

You can die for it-- an idea, or the world. People have done so, brilliantly, letting their small bodies be bound to the stake, creating an unforgettable fury of light. But this morning, climbing the familiar hills in the familiar fabric of dawn, I thought of China, and India and Europe, and I thought how the sun blazes for everyone just so joyfully as it rises under the lashes of my own eyes, and I thought I am so many! What is my name? What is the name of the deep breath I would take over and over for all of us? Call it whatever you want, it is happiness, it is another one of the ways to enter fire. In this expansive, flexibly mindful poem, the poet Mary Oliver follows a path of wonder through her own word pools of curiosity, humility and humanity. Exulting in the freshness of morning sunlight, the poet explores the possible horizons she can imaginatively enter through the heat and light of the sun. The rippling effects of Oliver's word pooling curiosity allow her mind to trace a path from one fiery experience to another, embracing a mood of wonder and courage, as well as communicating a tenderness for the very now of life itself. These word pools playfully flow rythmically through the poem and the epiphany that our shared wonder and exultation at another day of life gives us the precious gift of happiness and 'fire' is joyful and uplifting. Pooling our words allows our thoughts to become feelings and reveals the spiritual gift of wonder... Word pools gift us a wandering sensibility to the 'fire' of existence!