Loving the World (Poem by Mary Oliver)

Loving the World (Poem by Mary Oliver)

Loving the World (poem by Mary Oliver)

Loving the World

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

by  Mary Oliver

I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Dilys 4 years ago

    Lovely, Polly!
    I was revelling in the beauty of nature this morning on my early morning dog walk! We are dog sitting this week as our daughter and her family managed to secure a last minute week in Tenerife for the half term U.K. school holiday.
    The sun was coming up and the sky was beautifully pink, the dog was so excited to be out and expressing joy by leaping and bounding along and rolling excitedly in the long wet grass, I was so tempted to join her. The new day was fresh with promise. The leaves are all turning from green to Autumn colours! I love October and all the berries, acorns and fruitage everywhere!

    • Author
      Polly Castor 4 years ago

      Sounds wonderful! You have a writer’s eye! Beautifully expressed.

      • Dilys 4 years ago

        Thanks! X

  2. LOREE A. OGAN 4 years ago


  3. Allan May 4 years ago

    This has been one of my favorite poems since it was first published. It is also how I see the world, what I try to capture in every photo, every poem, every exhalation of pure astonishment. Thanks for publishing this. Here a few lines from a poem I wrote years ago when we first moved to Maryland, having lived in many locations across America:

    and I am beginning to know
    home is not some place you live in
    but a place that lives in you,
    and is carried with you
    into every corner of the world;

    and with every passing springtime day
    I am slowly coming to know
    that every poem I have ever written
    is a prayer
    a thankfulness for one more chance
    to love the world,
    to be free,
    to be happy,
    to be at home
    in every place and time.

    • Author
      Polly Castor 4 years ago

      Thank you. Wonderful.

    • Sally Lawson 2 years ago

      Dear @Allan May

      Thank you for the gift of those few lines of your poem about home. <3 So beautifully, simply, profound. Thank you, it resonated deeply. I particularly loved the line '… but a place that lives in you'. <3 Such a beautiful, beautiful reminder. <3
      As a poet, I also loved the reminder that our poems are prayers, and the gentle invitation to be heartful with them. <3 Thank you, thank you, thank you. <3

      @Polly Castor
      Thank you for the beautiful gift of Mary Oliver's poem. It found its way to me this morning, and the timing couldn't have been more perfect. :-) Thank you for creating the space (in all realms) where that could happen. <3

  4. John gregory 4 years ago

    Thank you for this. A cool cloth on my forehead this morning. Too much politics and not enough gratitude!❤️

  5. Mary Beth Williams 4 years ago

    Absolutely wonderful 🌹. Thanks dear Polly!

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