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Lilies Analysis

Author: poem of Mary Oliver Type: poem Views: 8

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I have been thinking

about living

like the lilies

that blow in the fields.

They rise and fall

in the edge of the wind,

and have no shelter

from the tongues of the cattle,

and have no closets or cupboards,

and have no legs.

Still I would like to be

as wonderful

as the old idea.

But if I were a lily

I think I would wait all day

for the green face

of the hummingbird

to touch me.

What I mean is,

could I forget myself

even in those feathery fields?

When Van Gogh

preached to the poor

of coarse he wanted to save someone--

most of all himself.

He wasn't a lily,

and wandering through the bright fields

only gave him more ideas

it would take his life to solve.

I think I will always be lonely

in this world, where the cattle

graze like a black and white river--

where the vanishing lilies

melt, without protest, on their tongues--

where the hummingbird, whenever there is a fuss,

just rises and floats away.


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