2 " Why I Wake Early Hello, sun in my face.Hello, you who made the morningand spread it over the fieldsand into the faces of the tulipsand the nodding morning glories,and into the windows of, even, themiserable and the crotchety – best preacher that ever was,dear star, that just happensto be where you are in the universeto keep us from ever-darkness,to ease us with warm touching,to hold us in the great hands of light –good morning, good morning, good morning.Watch, now, how I start the dayin happiness, in kindness. "
4 " When it's over, I want to say: all my lifeI was a bride married to amazement.I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. When it is over, I don't want to wonderif I have made of my life something particular, and real.I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,or full of argument. I don't want to end up simply having visited this world. "
6 " I wanted the past to go away, I wanted to leave it, like another country; I wanted my life to close, and open like a hinge, like a wing, like the part of the song where it falls down over the rocks: an explosion, a discovery; I wanted to hurry into the work of my life; I wanted to know,whoever I was, I wasalive for a little while. "
7 " Last nightthe rainspoke to meslowly, saying, what joyto come fallingout of the brisk cloud, to be happy againin a new wayon the earth! That’s what it saidas it dropped, smelling of iron, and vanishedlike a dream of the oceaninto the branchesand the grass below.Then it was over.The sky cleared.I was standingunder a tree.The tree was a treewith happy leaves, and I was myself, and there were stars in the skythat were also themselvesat the momentat which momentmy right handwas holding my left handwhich was holding the treewhich was filled with starsand the soft rain –imagine! imagine! the long and wondrous journeysstill to be ours. "
9 " I learned from Whitman that the poem is a temple -- or a green field -- a place to enter, and in which to feel. Only in a secondary way is it an intellectual thing -- an artifact, a moment of seemly and robust wordiness --wonderful as that part of it is. I learned that the poem was made not just to exist, but to speak --to be company. It was everything that was needed, when everything was needed. "
11 " Percy wakes me (fourteen)Percy wakes me and I am not ready.He has slept all night under the covers.Now he’s eager for action: a walk, then breakfast.So I hasten up. He is sitting on the kitchen counter Where he is not supposed to be. How wonderful you are, I say. How clever, if you Needed me, To wake me. He thought he would a lecture and deeply His eyes begin to shine.He tumbles onto the couch for more compliments.He squirms and squeals: he has done something That he needed And now he hears that it is okay. I scratch his ears. I turn him over And touch him everywhere. He isWild with the okayness of it. Then we walk, then He has breakfast, and he is happy.This is a poem about Percy.This is a poem about more than Percy.Think about it. "
13 " oxygen Everything needs it: bone, muscles, and even, while it calls the earth its home, the soul. So the merciful, noisy machine stands in our house working away in its lung-like voice. I hear it as I kneel before the fire, stirring with a stick of iron, letting the logs lie more loosely. You, in the upstairs room, are in your usual position, leaning on your right shoulder which aches all day. You are breathing patiently; it is a beautiful sound. It is your life, which is so close to my own that I would not know where to drop the knife of separation. And what does this have to do with love, except everything? Now the fire rises and offers a dozen, singing, deep-red roses of flame. Then it settles to quietude, or maybe gratitude, as it feeds as we all do, as we must, upon the invisible gift: our purest, sweet necessity: the air. "
15 " You do not have to be good.You do not have to walk on your kneesfor a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.Meanwhile the world goes on.Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rainare moving across the landscapes,over the prairies and the deep trees,the mountains and the rivers.Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,are heading home again.Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,the world offers itself to your imagination,calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –over and over announcing your placein the family of things. "