10 Oct
Posted in: Poems
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Curious and Full of Detail

by Mary Oliver


Where do I live? If I had no address, as
many people
do not, I could nevertheless say that I
lived in the
same town as the lilies of the field, and
the still

Spring, and all through the neighbor-
hood now there are
strong men tending flowers.

Beauty without purpose is beauty with-
out virtue. But
all beautiful things, inherently, have
this function–

to excite the viewers toward sublime
thought. Glory
to the world, that good teacher.

Among the swans there is none called
the least, or
the greatest.

I believe in kindness. Also in mischief.
Also in
singing, especially when singing is not

As for the body, it is solid and strong
and curious
and full of detail; it wants to polish it-
self; it
wants to love another body; it is the
only vessel in
the world that can hold, in a mix of

power and
sweetness: words, songs, gesture, pas-
sion, ideas,
ingenuity, devotion, merriment, vanity,
and virtue.

Keep some room in your heart for the


(to be continued)

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