In Honor of the First Day of Spring, Here’s Three Pretty Poems

In honor of the first day of spring, here are three very important Mary Oliver pieces that remind me of spring and summer, or the feeling of warmness, wholeness in general.

Also, I’ve just been generally more inspired when I read warm-toned poems, mostly because I believe I just have “seasonal depression” and not “Depression depression”. These just make me feel better about myself and the world, and who doesn’t need more of that feeling in their life?


I go down to the edge of the sea.
How everything shines in the morning light!
The cusp of the whelk,
the broken cupboard of the clam,
the opened, blue mussels,
moon snails, pale pink and barnacle scarred—
and nothing at all whole or shut, but tattered, split,
dropped by the gulls onto the gray rocks and all the moisture gone.
It’s like a schoolhouse
of little words,
thousands of words.
First you figure out what each one means by itself,
the jingle, the periwinkle, the scallop
full of moonlight.

Then you begin, slowly, to read the whole story.


I wanted to start with going over his piece because it seems like the first page of a new book. It’s really fresh, especially the way she uses her description. I like the word “cusp”, the phrase “broken cupboard” when describing a clam ,and “scarred” when describing a barnacle.

It amazes me how she can take her observations and not only write them beautifully, but give a lesson or sixth-feeling to you when exploring those observations.

This poem makes me feel: warm, like a full belly of strawberries.



There is a thing in me that dreamed of trees,
A quiet house, some green and modest acres
A little way from every troubling town,
A little way from factories, schools, laments.
I would have time, I thought, and time to spare,
With only streams and birds for company,
To build out of my life a few wild stanzas.
And then it came to me, that so was death,
A little way away from everywhere.
There is a thing in me still dreams of trees.
But let it go. Homesick for moderation,
Half the world’s artists shrink or fall away.
If any find solution, let him tell it.
Meanwhile I bend my heart toward lamentation
Where, as the times implore our true involvement,
The blades of every crisis point the way.

I would it were not so, but so it is.
Who ever made music of a mild day?

This poem really struck me after I read the line,”homesick for moderation.” When you look up the definition of moderation, it is the idea that you want to stay away from extremes and stick to something usual and relaxing, or normal. The idea that too much of a good thing is a bad one.

I also like the fact she will be “bending towards lament” while the “artists of the world” look for a solution to not falling away.

The idea of falling away of an artist strikes a cord with me. As artists we like to create and expand our creations into the public surface, but sometimes, reality hits us and we forget our “dream of trees.” I don’t know, that’s just how it made me feel.



I have been in love more times than one,
thank the Lord. Sometimes it was lasting
whether active or not. Sometimes
it was all but ephemeral, maybe only
an afternoon, but not less real for that.
They stay in my mind, these beautiful people,
or anyway people beautiful to me, of which
there are so many. You, and you, and you,
whom I had the fortune to meet, or maybe
missed. Love, love, love it was the
core of my life, from which, of course, comes
the word for the heart. And, oh, have I mentioned
that some of them were men and some were women
and some—now carry my revelation with you–
were trees. Or places. Or music flying above
the names of their makers. Or clouds, or the sun
which was the first, and the best, and the most
loyal for certain, who looked so faithfully into
my eyes, every morning. So I imagine
such love of the world–its fervency, its shining, its
innocence and hunger to give of itself–I imagine
this is how it began.

-Mary Oliver

I wanted to end on this poem because it felt like the epitome of how I look at the world. I thought it was really interesting seeing how Mary Oliver specifically loves, as she is one of the most loving artists of both the world and of people that I have discovered.

It was also interesting how she specifically says that she is grateful for multiple, and short loves. It makes me kind of rethink how I ought to be loved, or how I should love others in general. This poem makes me feel temporary.



Author: Katherine Westbrook

Kate. Too cool for school.