The first Friday Poem of 2018 is for the early risers, the folks who ‘seize the day’ as first light tints the sky in pastels. Poet Mary Oliver shares ‘Why I Wake Up Early’.
“Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.”
Why I Wake Early
Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and crotchety–
best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light–
good morning, good morning, good morning.
Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.
Mary Oliver ‘Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver’ Penguin Press, 2017
What do we have if we don’t have hope?
In December, U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. One of the most stunning, yet relatable, quotes concerned ‘hope’- the promise of her husband’s presidential campaign eight years ago.
“I think that we feel the difference now. See, now we’re feeling what not having hope feels like.
“Hope is necessary. It’s a necessary concept, and Barack didn’t just talk about hope because he thought it was just a nice slogan to get votes.”
“What else do you have, if you don’t have hope? What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope?”
The Friday poem this week is from the nineteenth century American poet, Emily Dickinson – because we all could use a little hope “perched in our soul” in this new year.
“Hope” is the thing with feathers
“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.
Emily Dickinson ‘The Poems of Emily Dickinson’ edited by R.W. Franklin