Thursday, 12 March 2009

*Aw, shucks* I'm blushing....and Mary Oliver

Today I received the most beautiful award for being a blogger, and what means most to me about it, is what the award is for - for being friendly, and welcoming, and here, this explanation says it better:
"This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY-nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this clever-written text into the body of their award."
Jeane at Dog Ear Diary nominated me, which I am thrilled about. She reviews the most amazing amount of animal books - psychology, adventure, life with, everything you can imagine, as well as reading as widely in everything else as the rest of us. And she is very friendly and funny, and has many fun draws also.

I'm not into blog comparison, because this isn't a sport or competition. We each create a blog we love, about the things we love: books, our families, life. I think each blog I visit has something original and creative about it, because it reflects the person. So I am touched when something about my blog reaches out to another person. It's like in a book, when a connection is made - when I understand perfectly what the author is saying; blogs allow each of us to touch one another and be in one another's lives, even if we never meet in person. I certainly am enriched by all of you that I have met through blogging. My hope is actually that if this award goes around, eventually everyone will get it!

With that in mind, I would like to give this award to some very special blogs who light the way for me:
1. Bybee at Naked Without Books
2. Deslily at Here, There and Everywhere
3. Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings
4. Cath at Read-Warbler
5. Raidergirl3 at An Adventure in Reading
6. JS Peyton at Biblioaddict
7. Geraniumcat at Geraniumcat's Bookshelf
8. Bride at Bride of the Book God

Onto a very special book I am reading: New and Selected Poems by Mary Oliver, volume Two. Volume One is on order at the bookstore. I mention this because - not waiting for my eventual book review - I am reading a poem or two at night, and I already have two that I have taken
to heart.

From "Everything":
I want to make poems
that look into the earth and the heavens
and see the unseeable. I want them to honor
both the heart of faith, and the light of the world;
the gladness that says, without any words, everything.

and from "Work, Sometimes":
As for myself, I swung the door open. And there was
the wordless, singing world. And I ran for my life.

I simply had to share that. Because when I read those words, I feel a ripple of delight in my soul. That is what I do, I run into nature. At this moment in March, when it is sub-zero temperatures and still too much snow to wander into the fields and by the river, I am simply waiting for the snow to go so I can go out into the' wordless, singing world' again. what a lovely, perfect vision of nature.

I have only recently discovered Mary Oliver, this is her second book of poetry I am reading, and if it's possible to fall in love with words on a page, that's what I'm doing.

I haven't given up on Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes, on the contrary, I've had to take it down to the living room where i can dip into it when I'm wide awake. Those poems are so passionate, and angry and sad and loving at the same time, that I can't read them just before sleep. I have to be wide awake to take them in and consider them. Mary Oliver I can take with me into sleep, into my dreams where there is singing without words sometimes too.

I know poetry isn't widely read anymore, but I just had to share what I'm discovering, because Mary Oliver's work is of such beauty to me. Poetry doesn't have to be difficult, or obfuscate, or confuse or tongue-tie (though the latter is fun!); poetry for me is about seeing the world as it is, as directly and honestly as possible. At least that is how I have written my own poetry, trying to find the clearest way to say what I mean. Oliver's poetry is about being in love with nature, while seeing with a clear eye the predator-prey relationship. Isn't that a lovely way to be, to live one's life, in love with the world?

May you find a some beauty in your day today. And find a good book to capture you!


Eva said...

I love Mary Oliver! Have you read "Honey at the Table"? My favourite part is 'the soft essence of vanished flowers'-isn't that ridiculously beautiful?

Molly said...

Congratulations on the award -- it is much deserved :)

DesLily said...

congratulations on the award susan!...

I thank you for passing it on, even when my own blog has been lacking quite a bit lately.

Jeane said...

Thank you for the kind words! What you said about the award was lovely.

Debi said...

At the risk of repeating myself, I absolutely adore Mary Oliver, too! I spent months savoring New and Selected Poems Vol. 1, but still have Vol. 2 to look forward to. There's a poem (and I'm totally blanking on its title right now...something about a little owl in the orchard), and I find this line from it,
"when I hear him in the orchard
down the little aluminum
ladder of his scream"
popping into my head every time I hear an owl. She just has the most amazing way of capturing the world.
She came to speak at the CC where my husband teaches...I couldn't go, but my husband took my daughter. They said she was every bit as wonderful and down-to-earth in person as she is in her writing. Not surprising, I suppose. Anyway, thank you,'ve inspired me to go dig an unread (by me) volume of her poems off my daughter's shelves. It was time for me to switch out the poetry on my nightstand anyway, so this was a well-timed nudge for me.

Congratulations on your award!

Susan said...

Eva: no, I haven't read it yet. I'm so new to her work that all I know is the poems from "Owls and Other Fantasies". I love phrase you quote, though! I'm so glad you enjoy her too.

Molly: thank you! I was surprised, so not expecting it, and because it's about friendship and blogging, I accepted it. I'm going to email you later tonight about our challenge with Nymeth - just to see how you are finding the manga :-D

Deslily: you have no idea how inspirational you and your blog are, do you? Everyone else does! It's not about just humour, or fun, it's about life, and you share so much that was good....Deforest Kelley pictures, anyone? and telling it like it is.

Jeane: it's a lovely award! And your blog really is unique for your animal book reviews, and I just know there are tons of readers out there! :-D

Debi: I actually thought you were on Jeane's list, or i was going to nominate you, because your comments are always so perfect! and your blog is fun and we have the same taste - I think that deserves to rewarded! lol then I went to see Jeane's and you weren't.....there are also so many who deserve it. I felt slightly guilty only giving it to 8, there are so many blogs and readers I enjoy going to see.

Anyway, I know the little poem you quote! she really does love owls, doesn't she? and herons. she makes me wish I had paid closer attention to nature when I was younger, because I feel like i have so much to catch up on now in terms of knowing the birds. I like how you put it, that 'she has the most amazing way of capturing the world', you are so right,Debi. I'll let you know when I get volume one! And I knew someone read her out in blogger land, so now I have it fixed in my mind that it's you and Eva :-D I think I'm working on Nymeth being interested too. I'm just happy that there are people who are reading poetry, and even better that we are finding each other like this!

raidergirl3 said...

That is a lovely award and thank you for thinking of me.

Have a great weekend and good reading!

Daphne said...

Yay! You deserve this adorable sweet award! And I looove Mary Oliver, she is definitely one of my favorite poets. So beautiful and rooted in the natural world. Love her!

Susan said...

raidergirl3: you're welcome! you do impress me with how widely you read, and how much you get read with all going on in your life. Simply amazing. And you finish challenges, which is more than I have managed so far!!

Miss D: thank you. I am so delighted that you love Mary Oliver too! We have a little group now :-D Eva, you, me and Debi. this is fun! you are right, Mary Oliver is 'rooted in the natural world'.

Jeane said...

I've never been to Debi's site before, but now I have another one to add to my Google Reader! You're right, it's so hard to pick just eight... I agonize over it every time an award comes through.

Cath said...

Congrats on your award and thank you so much for choosing me as one of the bloggers to pass it along to. Am chuffed to bits. :-)

bloglily said...

You ARE someone who makes people feel welcome -- and it's lovely to see that celebrated!

Ana S. said...

Don't worry, between you and Debi I'm more than convinced that I HAVE to read Mary Oliver!

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