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Poem (The spirit likes to dress up...) Analysis



Author: poem of Mary Oliver Type: poem Views: 12

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The spirit

  likes to dress up like this:

    ten fingers,

      ten toes,



shoulders, and all the rest

  at night

    in the black branches,

      in the morning



in the blue branches

  of the world.

    It could float, of course,

      but would rather



plumb rough matter.

  Airy and shapeless thing,

    it needs

      the metaphor of the body,



lime and appetite,

  the oceanic fluids;

    it needs the body's world,

      instinct



and imagination

  and the dark hug of time,

    sweetness

      and tangibility,



to be understood,

  to be more than pure light

    that burns

      where no one is --



so it enters us --

  in the morning

    shines from brute comfort

      like a stitch of lightning;



and at night

  lights up the deep and wondrous

    drownings of the body

      like a star.






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