Sunday, January 18, 2015

Poetry Post: "The Uses of Sorrow" by Mary Oliver

I'm afraid your disinterest in my poetry posts will not deter me from sharing poems. This poem by poet Mary Oliver offers me strange comfort. No one seeks despair or sorrow, at least for extended periods of time, but we all find ourselves steeped in it from time to time. Many times while we're in a state of hurt or grief or deep sadness it's very hard to see the wisdom in seeing it as gift; it seems that all we can feel is the physical pain or mental anguish of what plagues us. And honestly, sometimes I'm not entirely certain that all of the 'boxes of darkness' I've received, seeked, stored, hidden, or held onto always become gifts; with some distance from those dark places, though, I've managed to see that sometimes those experiences enriched me or gave me something I would've never had if I'd only lived in fields of flowers and butterflies. I guess if I never lived in the darkness I'd never have a chance to see the fireflies.

The Uses of Sorrow
(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.

You can find this poem and other Mary Oliver poems here

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