Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More Mary Oliver

[I got up super early from stress and dealt with it by watching trashy TV, prepping Thursday's show, and weaving.] I read Marianne Moore's "The Fish" in Mary Oliver's A Poetry Handbook, and started to wonder if I had read this book before. Then I read Elizabeth Bishop's "The Fish" and was convinced. When I read this passage, I knew for sure that I had read part of the book, and that it was likely in 12th-grade English (taught by the bestest, most exuberant, and forward-thinking teacher a girl could dream for):
Early in my life I determined not to teach because I like teaching very much. I thought if I was going to be a real poet--that is, write the best poetry I possibly could--I would have to guard my time and energy for its production, and thus I should not, as a daily occupation, do anything else that was interesting. Of necessity I worked for many years at many occupations. None of them, in keeping with my promise, was interesting.

Among the things I learned in those years were two of special interest to poets. First, that one can rise early in the morning and have time to write (or, even, to take a walk and then write) before the world's work schedule begins. Also, that one can live simply and honorably on just about enough money to keep a chicken alive. And do so cheerfully.

This I have always known--that if I did not live my life immersed in the one activity which suits me, and which also, to tell the truth, keeps me utterly happy and intrigued, I would come someday to bitter and mortal regret.

1 comment:

mjc said...

Funny you'd post this today, because I've been thinking along these lines. Thanks for yesterday's link to the show - I am so liking the new work, still in particular the spun/ woven works, though lots of the joomchi, too.