When Death Comes – A Poem by Mary Oliver

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps his purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if 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.

~ Mary Oliver ~


Ya Haqq!

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7 Responses to When Death Comes – A Poem by Mary Oliver

  1. Thank you. It’s just what I needed today! And how true.

  2. Irving says:

    Thank you, dear Barbara, it is what I needed today too :)

    Ya Haqq!

  3. Josef Sefton says:

    May God so bless our lives, so that death doesn’t come like a hungry bear in autumn!

    May God so bless our lives, so that so that we can step through the door of truth full of curiosity and wonderment and joyfully explore God’s house of love.

    Precious readers, always esteem temporal time as if it is a precious gift- for so it is.

    Yes, before and when our earthly pilrimage in this body is over, I want to witness to my neighbours, with confidence and veracity, that the Creator has an amazingly wonderful character truly worthy of being highly honoured. To God be the glory!

  4. Abdur Rahman says:

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem with us Irving dost!


    Ya Haqq!

  5. […] When Death Comes – A Poem by Mary Oliver […]

  6. […]  I accidentally typed “pout” there.  Heh.) 5.  That poem by Mary Oliver about death, about being married to […]

  7. […] mother inspired me as she  “embraced life like a bride married to amazement”.   Whether we have had to “lean in”, or follow another path,  history repeats itself.  We […]

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