The Summer Day

Mary Oliver 1935 (Maple Heights, OH) – 2019 (Hobe Sound, FL)



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 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?
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Submitted by JokerGem on November 11, 2023

54 sec read
1,268

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABCDEFGHIJKGELJMNOP
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 830
Words 178
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 19

Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver was an award-winning poet with fans throughout the world. In addition to her numerous literary prizes, as noted by New York Times, Oliver was, "far and away, this country's best-selling poet." more…

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    "The Summer Day" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 15 Jun 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/173568/the-summer-day>.

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