Monday, 17 November 2014

When death comes by Mary Oliver


Some beauty from our garden and from one of my favourite poets:
Mary Oliver 
When Death Comes
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps his purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.


  1. Hi Marja - an interesting take on death and one's demise ... where everything is wonderful and there for us ... a prompt to do all we can ... others matter while we're here ... lovely to read and think about ... cheers Hilary

  2. Such words are meant, I believe, to be read over and over again to feel their full impact. Thank you for sharing this brilliant reminder to be immersed and amazed. :)

  3. Lovely poem. I sometimes try to find some poetry at the library, but when I get in that section of the library, I feel a bit lost and never know what to take with me. I love the poems by Ted van Lieshout, have you heard of him?

    1. I've got the same, so I stick to the famous ones

    2. oh and no I don't know Ted van Liehout but will check him out

  4. I agree with Penelope, this is a poem that needs to be reread several times. My first impression was one of how life shouldn't be wasted, that we should do our best to live everyday to the fullest.

  5. Lovely poem,Marja! I agree with Penelopes words...
    Thank you very much for all your nice comments im my blog.Sorry,I am late with my comments...
    Have a nice day!

  6. nice poem.

    in my experience there is only one god and that is death.

    and what do you say to god; "not today"

  7. What a powerful, brilliant poem by Mary of my favourite poets. I love the last line "I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world"
    Thanks so much for posting this Marja, I will take these words with me today as I wander.
    Big heart hugs
    Peggy xxxxxxx


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