Header PostFeaturedImage 10

The Journey by Mary Oliver

Two of my dear friends, both poets, are celebrating their birthdays today. I am not religious, but their presence in my life makes me feel blessed. Their friendship means so much to me.

But this one is especially for you, S. You’re lovely. Thank you.

The Journey
Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Comments (3)

  • onik

    i stumbled upon your website looking for benilda santos poems. in any case, i don’t know if i should thank you or curse you. i am in the process of dying, so that i can live again. please post poems of that nature.

  • Nikoel

    This is absolute perfection. This poem describes everything.

  • Karen Miller

    This poem was read throughout a yoga retreat that I attended this past weekend. The line…”determined to do
    the only thing you could do—
    determined to save
    the only life you could save.”
    It resonated to my core! Your choice of words were perfect for me in my life. What a gift you have! Thank you!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.