The poet Mary Oliver is a favourite of many people,
so it's nice to see that she has a new collection of poetry entitled A Thousand Mornings.
Click here to hear a short interview on NPR and a reading from Mary Oliver of her poem "I Happen to Be Standing," where she describes herself as witnessing all these things as she stands by her door every morning, notebook and pen in hand.
However, her remarks in the interview about young poets and bicycle trails have provoked some controversy so make sure you check out the comments section.
One of my own favourite Mary Oliver poems which you can read here is Spring, because it reminds me of the hope of the Resurrection.
At 76, Oliver still has a commanding stage presence. Unlike so many performers these days she doesn’t need back-up dancers or pyrotechnics.
With just a podium and her words, she dazzles, allowing the audience “to float a little above this difficult world.”
The Ignatian practice of "Seeing God in all things" reverberates through her words.
Click here to read her short poem Yellow, which illustrates this perfectly and the same link has a special Advent treat from last year : a video from August 2001 where Mary Oliver discusses and reads her own poetry at The Lensic Theatre in Santa Fe, Mexico.
Mary Oliver says in her most recent interview
"And this is happening to the world, and I think it is very very dangerous for our future generations, those of us who believe that the world is not only necessary to us in its pristine state, but it is in itself an act of some kind of spiritual thing."
Perhaps a clearer meaning of what she is lamenting for, and fears the loss of, can be seen in this beautiful video below, entitled "Listen To Your Heart ."
It shows scenes of Emperor penguins that live on the shores of Antarctica and in the south of Australia, New Zealand, America & Africa. The most northerly place that penguins live is on the Galapagos Islands which is near Ecuador in South America. Even though there is ice in Canada and the Arctic, penguins don't live there or in the northern half of the world.
The Arctic land is mainly tundra and covered with hearty plants like moss and lichen which caribou and muskox feed on. A wide range of marine mammals and fish live in the Arctic ocean. Whales, dolphins, walruses, arctic fox and seals all make their homes there. The great polar bear depends on these marine mammals and fish for survival.
The author of the video says "No other animal other than penguins can draw attention to the environmental damage caused by oil and gas drilling, fracking and mountaintop removal, etc.. That is why I end this video with a message "NO TO ARCTIC DRILLING!" ~