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The Kingfisher Analysis

Author: poem of Mary Oliver Type: poem Views: 7

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The kingfisher rises out of the black wave

like a blue flower, in his beak

he carries a silver leaf. I think this is

the prettiest world--so long as you don't mind

a little dying, how could there be a day in your

      whole life

that doesn't have its splash of happiness?

There are more fish than there are leaves

on a thousand trees, and anyway the kingfisher

wasn't born to think about it, or anything else.

When the wave snaps shut over his blue head, the


remains water--hunger is the only story

he has ever heard in his life that he could


I don't say he's right. Neither

do I say he's wrong. Religiously he swallows the

      silver leaf

with its broken red river, and with a rough and

      easy cry

I couldn't rouse out of my thoughtful body

if my life depended on it, he swings back

over the bright sea to do the same thing, to do it

(as I long to do something, anything) perfectly.

Submitted by Michael D. Harrell


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