Mary Oliver





Wild,Wild

This is what love is:
the dry rose bush the gardener, in his pruning, missed
suddenly bursts into bloom.
A madness of delight; an obsession.
A holy gift, certainly,
But often, alas, improbable.

Why couldn’t Romeo have settled for someone else?
Why couldn’t Tristan and Isolde have refused
the shining cup
which would have left peaceful the whole kingdom?

Wild sings the bird of the heart in the forests
    of our lives.

Over and over Faust, standing in the garden, doesn’t know
anything that’s going to happen, he only sees
    the face of Marguerite, which is irresistible.

And wild, wild sings the bird.


spoken = Susannah Wood