When the Roses Speak, I Pay Attention

- Mary Oliver
(thought I'd post this because they are, in fact, both blooming and speaking in the backyard. though it seems they are being drowned out by the raucous from the jasmine.)

"As long as we are able to
be extravagant we will be
hugely and damply
extravagant. Then we will drop
foil by foil to the ground. This
is our unalterable task, and we do it

And they went on. "Listen,
the heart-shackles are not, as you think,
death, illness, pain,
unrequited hope, not loneliness, but

lassitude, rue, vainglory, fear, anxiety,

Their fragrance all the while rising
from their blind bodies, making me
spin with joy.


  1. Mary Oliver is my favorite - read Wild Geese?

  2. I have. It is actually my least favorite of her poems. It makes me annoyed and angry and sad all at once. The 'soft animal of my body' knows nothing about beauty or truth or goodness. I learn these things by crossing the desert on my knees. Mary Oliver is also one of my favorites, but I don't know that we could be friends for long.

  3. Wait, Jennalee, like THE Jenna Lee? I could just eavesdrop forever if you and Molly talked about literature and whatnot.


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