Everything

vincent van gogh

No doubt in Holland,

when van Gogh was a boy,

there were swans drifting

over the green sea

of the meadows, and no doubt

on some warm afternoon

he lay down and watched them,

and almost thought:  this is everything.

What drove him

to get up and look further

is what saves this world,

even as it breaks

the hearts of men.

In the mines where he preached, 

where he studied tenderness,

there were only men, all of them

streaked with dust.

For years he would reach

toward the darkness.

But no doubt, like all of us,

he finally remembered

everything, including the white birds,

weightless and unaccountable,

floating around the towns

of grit and hopelessness—

and this is what would finish him:

not the gloom, which was only terrible,

but those last yellow fields, where clearly

nothing in the world mattered, or ever would,

but the insensible light.

—Mary Oliver

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. beeseeker
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 00:41:11

    There’s real power in these words, and I felt it.
    A marvellous post!

    Reply

  2. eikenlaan
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 06:11:46

    Beautiful 🙂

    Reply

  3. David Kanigan
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 16:14:24

    Wonderful Sandy Sue…

    Reply

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