“”Understand, I am always trying to figure out what the soul is, and where hidden, and what shape…”

oliver 2 croppedI have always felt more at home with questions than with answers, and I gravitate toward poets who explore rather than explain. Mary Oliver, one of my favorites, writes in this poem, “I believe I will never quite know.  Though I play at the edge of knowing, truly I know our part is not knowing, but looking…” The poet Maxine Kumin noted that Oliver “stands quite comfortably on the margins of things..”  From that vantage point, she can be an observer, a recorder, a person who wonders. As she writes here: “I walked on, softly, through the pale-pink morning light.”

New and Selected Poems: Volume Two, Mary Oliver (Boston: Beacon Press, 2005), p. 72.

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