“Water…the Beauty, the Power, the Strength of It” with Sr. Hope Bauerlin featuring the poem “The Waterfall” for May Swenson by Mary Oliver Audio available here.
“The Waterfall” for May Swenson by Mary Oliver
(New and Selected Poems. Vol. 1. Boston: Beacon, 1992. pp. 19-20).
“For all the said, I could not see the waterfall until I came and saw the water falling, its lace legs and its womanly arms sheeting down, while something howled like thunder, over the rocks, all day and all night – unspooling like ribbons made of snow, or god’s white hair. At any distance it fell without a break or seam, and slowly, a simple preponderance – a fall of flowers – and truly it seemed surprised by the unexpected kindness of the air and light-hearted to be flying at last. Gravity is a fact everybody knows about. It is always underfoot, like a summons, gravel-backed and mossy, in every beetled basin – and imagination – that striver, that third eye – can do a lot but hardly everything. The white, scrolled wings of the tumbling water I never could have imagined. And maybe there will be, after all, some slack and perfectly balanced blind and rough peace, finally, in the deep and green and utterly motionless pools after all that falling?”