Foolishness? No, It’s Not (Poem by Mary Oliver)

Foolishness? No, It’s Not (Poem by Mary Oliver)

Foolishness poem by Mary Oliver

Foolishness? No, It’s Not

Sometimes I spend all day trying to count
the leaves on a single tree. To do this I
have to climb branch by branch and
write down the numbers in a little book.
So I suppose, from their point of view,
it’s reasonable that my friends say: what
foolishness! She’s got her head in the clouds

But it’s not. Of course I have to give up,
but by then I’m half crazy with the wonder
of it – the abundance of the leaves, the
quietness of the branches, the hopelessness
of my effort. And I am in that delicious
and important place, roaring with laughter,
full of earth-praise.

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. Kate+Gibson+Oswald 1 month ago

    Brilliant sharing Polly! An absolute favourite poet…who brings thoughts to life in wonderful images that speak so clearly, …this is timeless and profoundly childlike. Poetry that endures!

  2. Susan Krevitt 4 weeks ago

    So so SO agree, Kate!

    And with you, Polly!


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