Luke by Mary Oliver

When I receive updates from the Writers Almanac, I read the poem first, before looking at the author’s name. I read through this little poem and immediately loved it. I then looked to see who the author was. Duh!.. ha, of course it was Mary Oliver!


I had a dog
   who loved flowers.
         Briskly she went
              through the fields,

yet paused
   for the honeysuckle
         or the rose,
              her dark head

and her wet nose
         the face
              of every one

with its petals
   of silk,
         with its fragrance

into the air
   where the bees,
         their bodies
              heavy with pollen,

   and easily
         she adored
              every blossom,

not in the serious,
   careful way
         that we choose
              this blossom or that blossom—

the way we praise or don't praise—
   the way we love
         or don't love—
              but the way

we long to be—
   that happy
         in the heaven of earth—
              that wild, that loving. 

2 thoughts on “Luke by Mary Oliver

    1. Wow.. that was a substantial post you made on January 2nd.

      I don’t own the Dog Songs book (yet) but your post makes me want to add it to my collection of her books. I can’t say for sure why I enjoy so many of her poems. I haven’t concerned myself with analyzing it. I analyze enough other things in my life. 🙂 I want to say that she doesn’t “overreach” in her poetry. It’s so often just a nicely contained moment or observation. I’m so grateful someone introduced me to her work earlier than later. She’s a gift.

      What are 1 or 2 other poets that you appreciate?

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