When Death Comes – by Mary Oliver… (or really how to live your life!)

When death comes

like the hungry bear in autumn;

when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;

when death comes

like the measle-pox

when death comes

like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:

what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything

as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,

and I look upon time as no more than an idea,

and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common

as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,

tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something

precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say all my life

I was a bride married to amazement.

I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder

if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,

or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

Mary Oliver

0 thoughts on “When Death Comes – by Mary Oliver… (or really how to live your life!)

  1. Gillian February 1, 2013 / 9:52 pm

    When death comes………. at some point you accept that death has come and then you remember the life that was and slowly, slowly you live…..

    • happinessvirus February 2, 2013 / 12:32 pm

      This is true when another dies… Mary’s poem is really about our own death, and thoughts on that…yet in both cases, it’s learning to live that matters… (((Hugs)))

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