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I Want to Write Something So Simply

Mary Oliver has a magical way of writing. There is a simplicity in her writing that is moving and stirring. It always gently reminds us that we are not alone even when we are alone. We are part of a larger complex called humanity which has many common shared loves and pains. When we pause, even for a moment, we get a sense of this largesse.

I want to write something
so simply
about love
or about pain
that even
as you are reading
you feel it
and as you read
you keep feeling it
and though it be my story
it will be common,
though it be singular
it will be known to you
so that by the end
you will think—
no, you will realize—
that it was all the while
yourself arranging the words,
that it was all the time
words that you yourself,
out of your heart
had been saying.


About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

17 responses »

  1. How often do we experience this commonality I wonder? It conflicts with the knowledge that we are unique, but I feel that we are unique in our particulars while at the same time we are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow in our commonality. The ages don’t seem to alter the ways in which we are alike. Thank you for your insight..

  2. Mary Oliver is one of my favorite poets. This poem shows her altruism and modesty.
    My memoir on grief, Mourning Has Broken has a quote by her: “I look upon time as no more than an idea, and I consider eternity as another possibility.”

  3. Thank you Ivon – I love how she draws the reader in to connect with love and pain and the words. Its a keeper to reflect on.

  4. Oh, I really like this one and like you will be reflecting on it. Blessings, Natalie 🙂

  5. Hi Ivon, I also really like this…

  6. You really said something simple but deep here. You succeed on every level. Well done.

  7. so will i. beautiful poem ivon.

  8. Love her. And when someone tells me that something I’ve written makes them think they wrote it, I am deeply honored.


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