The Leaf and the Cloud

by Mary Oliver

Hardcover, 2000






[Cambridge, Mass.] : Da Capo Press, 2000.


With piercing clarity and craftsmanship, Mary Oliver has fashioned an unforgettable poem of questioning and discovery, about what is observable and what is not, about what passes and what persists. As the U.S. Poet Laureate, Stanley Kunitz, has said: "Mary Oliver's poetry is fine and deep; it reads like a blessing. Her special gift is to connect us with our sources in the natural world, its beauties and terrors and mysteries and consolations." The Boston Globe has called Mary Oliver "a great poet . . . she is amazed but not blinded." And the Miami Herald has said: "The gift of Oliver's poetry is that she communicates the beauty she finds in the world and makes it unforgettable."

User reviews

LibraryThing member MusicMom41
This is a book length poem that seem to be quite autobiographical. It is beautiful and lyrical and personal. I sensed that Oliver is trying to assess her life and work in this poem and also examine her “faith”.

The second “chapter” is called “Work” and opens with these lines:

I am a woman sixty years old and of no special courage.
Everyday—a little conversation with God, or his envoy
the tall pine, or the grass-swimming cricket.
Everyday—I study the difference between water and stone.
Everyday—I stare at the world; I push the grass aside
and stare at the world.

The last section of the last chapter opens with these lines:

Think of me
when you see the evening star.
Think of me when you see the wren
the flowing root of the creek beneath him,
dark silver and cold

Remember me I am the one who told you
he sings for happiness.
I am the one who told you
that the grass is also alive, and listening.
… (more)



Page: 0.3058 seconds