Poetry Sunday: I Worried by Mary Oliver

Are you a worrier? I confess I am at times even though I know full well that it will not change anything or make anything better. It seems simply inbred and uncontrollable. Mary Oliver addressed that in this poem. 

I Worried

by Mary Oliver

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
hopeless.

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.

Comments

  1. Mary Oliver had a way of capturing everything she wanted to say so beautifully. Unerringly too. Perfection was standard form for her.

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  2. I worry too much (although not about the rivers or the earth turning). Thank you, Mary Oliver!

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    Replies
    1. Worrying really is a waste of our time and energy and yet it seems impossible to completely rid ourselves of it.

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  3. As someone who has GAD, I worry over everything! It's simply what I do. So this poem hits all too strong.

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    Replies
    1. Mary Oliver is always spot-on with her poetic observations.

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  4. I worry too much, too, even though I do try not to. I'll have to print this poem out and put it where I can see it everyday so I remember to stop worrying and sing instead. :)

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    Replies
    1. It sometimes seems that the more we try not to worry the more we actually worry. But Mary was right - we should just give it up and sing.

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  5. I am a worrier through and through but my pastor reminds me that worrying is like praying for something you don't want, so...I'm working on that.

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    Replies
    1. That's an interesting way of looking at it.

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    2. Right?? When he said that to me I was like, "whoa..." and it made sense. So I try not to give any energy to my worries. We manifest what we focus on, for good or bad!

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  6. Such a good poem.

    "Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
    And gave it up. And took my old body
    and went out into the morning,
    and sang."

    One day...

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    Replies
    1. I do love Oliver's poetry. It often seems she is speaking directly to/for me.

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