Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Summer Day~Muse Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver, A Summer Day

For more Muse Day posts please visit Carolyn Gail, host of Muse Day, which is celebrated on the first day of each month.



  1. Absolutely perfect Gail! Stunning photos and I am sure Mary would agree... they compliment her poem superbly. Happy Muse Day.

  2. I love her poetry Carol~She's just superb. gail

  3. Ooh, Gail, I like your sleek new background and the photos of the grasshopper, esp. the first. It is beautiful! You're thinking about what seeds to save for my swap in January, right? :)

  4. " Tell me what do you plan to do with your wild and precious life ?" Wow that really makes us stop and think, Gail. My friend's best friend just died at age 40 from an embolism, leaving a 16 year old daughter.

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful Summer day musing.

  5. From the first few lines, I knew this had to be Mary Oliver. Her insight into life and the ability to express it so beautifully is without equal. As are those shots of the dadburned grasshoppers. :-)

  6. I'm not feelin' the grasshoppers so much right now, but I love that poem anyway. Okay, your first picture of that grasshopper looking through where she just ate, it's really, really good my friend.~~Dee

  7. I love this poem and had not read Mary Oliver before. Another one to add to the list. Fab photos too!

  8. Gail, you even make grasshoppers seem beautiful. :) As for the poem, it is beautiful as well. I ought to frame the last lines and put them where I can see them each and every day to remind me of how precious and short our lives are. ( so that I will get up off my keester and get busy!)

  9. Great photos to go along with MO's poem. This is certainly one I like. I have always thought about trying the sugar in my had to see if one would eat it. Happy GBMD.

  10. Beckie, That's a good idea~FOR ME! I may post it in my office, too...It's good to have you stop by~xxgail

  11. Gail, loved the poem....so beautiful.
    The photograph is amazing.......

    A really lovely post.

  12. Gail,
    Now darned if you didn't go and make me feel all snuggly about those danged grasshoppers! I've had an overabundance this year and been mad as a hatter over it as they are taking their meals right from my garden..:{ How on earth am I suppose to be angry with them now??

  13. Gail, it's a beautiful poem, but your pictures, especially the first one are unbelievable! How did you bribe the creature so that he posed for you?

  14. The grasshopper is fascinating, and in its own way beautiful, when viewed up close. Though, beauty is in the eye of the beholder... admittedly grasshoppers are not much of a problem around here.

  15. Yes they are rather creepy bugs...But I was totally fascinated by how intently it watched me...gail

  16. These photos are incredible! And loved the poem.

  17. Love, love the poem, Gail, though I'm not particularly fond of grasshoppers:) They are fascinating creatures, though, and you have some amazing photos of them. Mary Oliver is so in tune with nature, and her poems always strike a chord with me. "Strolling through the fields" is a great place to think about how one wants to spend her life.

  18. I've seen a while lot of grasshoppers this year! I hope he isn't eating a favorite plant!

  19. Love that shot of the grasshopper. You know, I haven't seen one that size since I was a kid at my Grandma's farm in Alberta.


  20. Dave, It's chomping on Hyacinth bean gail

  21. Great Post! I love your blog.
    BTW: I joined the Wildflower Wednesday group after the set time, but went ahead and put some wildflowers on my blog just to celebrate. How fortunate you are to have a sunny site. I'm in almost all shade. Too bad for my wildflowers. Still, I try.
    David at Tropical Texana (Houston)

  22. aloha,

    i enjoyed capturing the moment with this poem and the photography...nice to really treasure these moments

  23. Wonderful photo and poem. Isn't Mary Oliver great? Except for Robert Frost, can't think of any poet that speaks as beautifully about nature.

  24. Perfect photo! My grasshoppers shots look like id photos.

    I didn't discover Mary Oliver until I was in my forties. Where was I, anyway?


"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson