Hurricane // A Poem by Mary Oliver

On page 21 in Mary Oliver’s A Thousand Mornings, I found this poem.

Since it’s not my first time through the book, I suppose you could say it was more of a re-discovery of an old love.

I love Oliver’s poetry because it explores the mysteries of our daily experience. It is how I want to be: open to the teachings contained in the smallest of moments.

I want to do more than work and pay the bills. I want to do more than just survive. Don’t you want more than that, too?

I want to feel whole and fully alive, connected to the moment, part of everything, grateful beyond words.

This poem, titled “Hurricane,” is an example, as all true poetry tends to be, of exploring an element of life with such clarity and finding in that, cause to look inward. If we’re mindful and willing, what happens around us can be a catalyst for introspection and self-understanding.

We learn that we see in the world what we carry in our hearts. What we can accept within ourselves we can carry forth with greater kindness and intent.

It’s a beautiful thing. I hope you enjoy reading this poem as much as I have.


It didn’t behave

like anything you had

ever imagined. The wind

tore at the trees, the rain

fell for days slant and hard.

The back of the hand

to everything. I watched

the trees bow and their leaves fall

and crawl back into the earth.

As though, that was that.

This was one hurricane

I lived through, the other one

was of a different sort, and

lasted longer. Then

I felt my own leaves giving up and

falling. The back of the hand to

everything. But listen now to what happened

to the actual trees;

toward the end of that summer they

pushed new leaves from their stubbed limbs.

It was the wrong season, yes,

but they couldn’t stop. They

looked like telephone poles and didn’t

care. And after the leaves came

blossoms. For some things

there are no wrong seasons.

Which is what I dream of for me.

— Mary Oliver, A Thousand Mornings

Article and credit by

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.