《Felicity》-Mary Oliver

1984年普立茲詩歌獎得主Mary Oliver的詩集《Felicity》包括三個部分:The Journey, Love and Felicity,它們分別都引用了另一位詩人魯米的詩句提詞,可視做每部份的主旨或重要的精神。

Mary Oliver 的詩集在台灣目前似乎沒有中譯本,不過她的詩用字平易近人,每首詩也都不是很長,算是讀者友善。詩集內容大多描述大自然的奧妙和美麗,一種不受拘束自由自在的精神,另外也講愛情和愛人。《Felicity》有兩種意思,分別是幸福以及文字的貼切和恰當,其實兩者都非常符合詩集主旨,不過從Mary Oliver引述Rumi的詩句寫下:

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing

            There is a field. I’ll meet you there.”



*第一部份The Journey Rumi引述是“You broke the cage and flew.”


<Don’t Worry>

Things take the time they take. Don’t


How many roads did St. Augustine follow

Before he became St. Augustine?


<I Am Pleased to Tell You >

……Just something’s physical doesn’t mean it’s the greatest.


<Leaves and Blossoms Along the Way>

If you’re John Muir you want trees to

live among. If you’re Emily, a garden

will do.

Try to find the right place for yourself.

If you can’t find it, at least dream of it.


When one is alone and lonely, the body

Gladly lingers in the wind or the rain,

Or splashes into the cold river, or

Pushes through the ice-crusted snow.


Anything that touches.


God, or the gods, are invisible, quite

Understandable. But holiness is visible,



Some words will never leave God’s mouth,

no matter how hard you listen.

In all the works of Beethoven, you will

not find a single lie.


All important ideas must include reach out

of your own condition.

For how many years did I wander slowly

through the forest. What wonder and

glory I would have missed had I ever been

in a hurry!


Beauty can both shout and whisper, and still

it explains nothing.


The point is, you’re you, and that’s for keeps.


<I Wake Close to Morning>

Why do people keep asking to see

               God’s identity papers

When the darkness opening into morning

              is more than enough?

Certainly any god might turn away in disgust.

Think of Sheba approaching

             The kingdom of Solomon.

Do you think she had to ask,

             “Is this the place?”




There were no meadowlarks in the school.

Which was a good enough reason for me

Not to want to be there.


But now it’s more serious.

There is no field, neither have the woods survived.





<Whistling Swans>

Do you bow head when you pray or do you look

    up into that blue space?

Take your choice, prayers fly from all directions.

And don’t worry about what language you use,

God no doubt understands them all.

Even when the swans are flying north and making

Such a ruckus of noise, God is surely listening

     and understanding.

Rumi said, There is no proof of the soul.

But isn’t the return of spring and how it

springs up in our hearts a pretty good hint?

Yes, I know, God’s silence never breaks, but is

     that really a problem?

There are  thousands of voices, after all.

And furthermore, don’t you imagine ( I just suggest it)

that the swans know about as much as we do about

    the whole business?

So listen them and watch them, singing as they fly.

Take from it what you can.



When I moved from one house to another

there were many things I had no room

for. What does one do? I rented a storage

space. And filled it. Years passed.

Occasionally I went there and looked in,

but nothing happened, not a single

twinge of the heart.

As I grew older the things I cared

about grew fewer, but were more

important. So one day I undid the lock

and called the trash man. He took


I felt like the little donkey when

his burden is finally lifted. Things!

Burn them, burn them! Make a beautiful

fire! More room in your heart for love,

for the trees! For the birds who own

nothing-the reason they can fly.




“Someone who does not run

          toward the allure of love

                      walks a road where nothing lives.”



<No, I’d Never Been to This Country>

No, I’d never been to this country

before, No, I didn’t know where the roads

would lead me. No, I didn’t intend to

turn back.



<That Little Beast>

That pretty little beast, a poem,

     has a mind of its own.

Sometimes I want it to crave apples

     but it wants red meat.

Sometimes I want to walk peacefully

     on the shore

and it wants to take off all its clothes

     and dive in.


Sometimes I want to use small words

     and make them important

and it starts shouting the dictionary,

      the opportunities.


Sometimes I want to sum up and give thanks

     putting things in order

and it starts dancing around the room

     on its four furry legs, laughing

     and calling me outrageous.


But sometimes, when I’m thinking about you,

      and no doubt smiling,

it sits down quietly, one paw under its chin,

      and just listens.


<Except for the Body>

Except for the body

Of someone you love,

including all its expressions

in privacy and in public,


trees, I think,

are the most beautiful

forms on the earth.


Though, admittedly.

If this were a contest,

The trees would come in

an extremely distant second.



<Not Anyone Who Says>

Not anyone who says, “I’m going to be

      careful and smart in matters of love,”

who says , “I’m going to choose slowly,”

but only those lovers who didn’t choose at all

but were, as it were, chosen

by something invisible

and powerful and uncontrollable

and beautiful and possibly even


only those know what I’m talking about

in this talking about love.