Poetry Sunday: The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

This poem was suggested to me by my younger daughter. It seems perfect for celebrating this the first full day of summer 2020. It has been a year full of trauma and yet we are still here. And what do you plan to do with the rest of "your one wild and precious life?"

The Summer Day

by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean –
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down –
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?


  1. As always, a profound statement from Mary Oliver, and a beautifully constructed poem. What better way to enter summer?

    1. She had a way of expressing the profound in the most mundane events of life.

  2. Beautiful poem. I loved the last line - it will stay with me.

    1. It's a question we all have to answer, isn't it?


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