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“The Poet With his Face in His Hands,” by Mary Oliver

June 8, 2011

Today’s poem will sing of the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.

I read “The Poet With his Face in His Hands” from The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature (9th ed.), edited by Michael Meyer. Before it was anthologized there, Mary Oliver published it in her book, New and Selected Poems, Vol. 2 (Beacon Press, 2007).

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 8, 2011 10:53 am

    It seems like a paradox to “drip with despair” in the midst of “the thrush singing of the stone-hard beauty of everything”. Like a paradox or a cause and effect?
    One thing leads to another and for whatever reason, sometimes “roaring happens” in or out of a cave!

    Welcome back!

    • June 8, 2011 9:09 pm

      Yeah, that’s a remarkable pair of images, isn’t it. The roaring poet (whose voice unable to disturb the tumbling water) just near the singing thrush (who is just lightly touched lightly by that same water). Why does the roar get overwhelmed but the song is so present?

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