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Mary Oliver - The Lark

And I have seen,
at dawn,
the lark
spin out of the long grass

and into the pink air --
its wings,
which are neither wide
nor overstrong,

fluttering --
the pectorals
ploughing and flashing
for nothing but altitude --

and the song
bursting
all the while
from the red throat.

And then he descends,
and is sorry.
His little head hangs
and he pants for breath

for a few moments
among the hoops of the grass,
which are crisp and dry,
where most of his living is done --

and then something summons him again
and up he goes,
his shoulders working,
his whole body almost collapsing and floating

to the edges of the world.
We are reconciled, I think,
to too much.
Better to be a bird, like this one --

an ornament of the eternal.
As he came down once, to the nest of the grass,
“Squander the day, but save the soul,”
I heard him say.


-- from What Do We Know: Poems and Prose Poems, by Mary Oliver
Poetry Chaikhana | Mary Oliver - The Lark


The lines near the end of the poem grab me.
"... We are reconciled, i think,
to too much.
Better to be a bird like this one --

an ornament of the eternal.

I love those lines near the end ot the poem; but the lines before and after give context, so there they are.  "reconciled to too much," and "an ornament of the eternal"-- two wonderfus phrases that i will remember.

Its been said before: Think about ravens (consider the birds of the air) how they "squander their days."  They do not plant, harvest, nor store up; yet God feeds them.  Aren't you worth more than (or as much as) birds?

Most of the people to whom these words were spoken were very poor by today's economic standards.  The burden of possessions (and the activity required to attain and use them) would have unthinkable to them or even to their wealthy rulers

We are "ornaments of the eternal;"  What else do we need?

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