noticing the world

field of sunflowers

credit: graham owen

Mary Oliver’s poems invite us to notice the world – not only trees, deer, mockingbirds, violets of the natural world – but the inner world, as well. A perennial favorite is “Children, It’s Spring,” which evokes deep reflection with such lines as ‘picked by careful fingers’ or ‘children bringing such happiness home in their small hands.’

The prompt to notice both inner and outer worlds brings writers to immediate recognition, making connections within their own motivations and current situations that otherwise would not have occurred.

It is most gratifying to watch the women inmates writing their poems and memories, read them with emotion ranging from joy to sadness, ending in determination to change. Continue reading