THE JOURNEY

—by Mary Oliver

 

“One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice-

 

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

 

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations-

though their melancholy

was terrible.

 

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

 

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice,

which you slowly recognized as your own,

 

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do-

determined to save

the only life you could save.”

 

Poetry Table

PoemAuthor
The InvitationOriah Mountain Dreamer
The Guest HouseRumi
The Way It IsWilliam Stafford
The JourneyMary Oliver
Wild GeeseMary Oliver
RosesMary Oliver
The Man in the GlassPeter Dale Wimbrow Sr.
Earth, isn't this what you want?Rainer Maria Rilke
The Idea of Order at Key WestWallace Stevens