Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Weekly Scribblings #52: Something About Mary

Hello, dear wordsmiths. It was good to have our little holiday over Christmas and New Year – very refreshing – and it’s good to be back!

One of the things I did in the break was lots and lots of reading. And one of the things I read, cover to cover, was Dream Work by Mary Oliver – many people’s favourite poet, and definitely one of my favourites. I don’t think there could be a Mary Oliver poem I would dislike, just not possible! 

This is one I like especially:


I invite you to choose a line or phrase from this poem and use it to inspire a new piece of your own writing.

You don’t have to use those actual words in your piece, though you certainly may. 


As always, we welcome both poetry and short prose. Prose is limited to 369 words max, and may be either fiction or non-fiction. 

Do tell us, in a note on your blog post, which of Oliver's words inspired this piece of writing. (Even if you quote from them – to save us having to check back.)

We’d love you to link back here in your post, and to leave us a quick comment below. 

Please visit other participants to read their work and leave an encouraging comment.

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  1. Hello poets! Wishing you a good day!

  2. Rosemary, this is a lovely prompt for writing thank you. Did you remember that Mary Oliver died January 17 of last year? Thank you for remembering the Indigenous folk, I added three lines for them with my final thought stanza.
    I don't think I ever tell, maybe I did, but in 2013 we spent almost am entire day with an Indigenous tribe in New Zealand? We participated in a tribal ritual, had lunch with them, and had a grand tour. They did well.

    1. Yes, I was sorry that the wonderful Mary Oliver had to leave us – but she sure knew how to live her life with full appreciation while she was here, and has left us such a wonderful poetic legacy.
      No, I had not heard that NZ story before; thanks for telling it.

  3. I adore Mary Oliver. Thank you for such a fun prompt!

    1. Me too! (I'm tempted to say, 'Who doesn't?') You're welcome!

  4. So many of this poem's lines linger. I chose "the fragile of flowers" because, well... I haven't seen a bloom I can resist. But the third stanza is my favorite part of the poem. So much in those three telling lines.

    Happiest reading, everyone!

    1. I so agree with you about that stanza! And I love that it's placed as the central one. I was also tempted by those fragile flowers. And by the crows. However, in the end I went somewhere else again. I guess that's one of the things about Mary Oliver's poetry: everything she says is wonderfully expressed and rings so true.

  5. Happy Wednesday, thanks for this interesting prompt

    much love...

  6. I've just noticed that January 17 is the anniversary of Mary Oliver's death


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