After Arguing Against The Contention That Art Must Come From Discontent

Whispering to each handhold, "I'll be back,"
I go up the cliff in the dark. One place
I loosen a rock and listen a long time
till it hits, faint in the gulf, but the rush
of the torrent almost drowns it out, and the wind --
I almost forgot the wind: it tears at your side
or it waits and then buffets; you sag outward...

I remember they said it would be hard. I scramble
by luck into a little pocket out of
the wind and begin to beat on the stones
with my scratched numb hands, rocking back and forth
in silent laughter there in the dark--
"Made it again!" Oh how I love this climb!
-- the whispering to the stones, the drag, the weight
as your muscles crack and ease on, working
right. They are back there, discontent,
waiting to be driven forth. I pound
on the earth, riding the earth past the stars:
"Made it again! Made it again!"

by Mary Oliver

Comments (3)

Almost fell down a steep precipice once when on a walk down at night from a huge inland cliff along a tiny footpath, saved only by shrubs to hold on, and by not being aware of the danger. On comin down I received a mysterious message about the stars & moon
This is a fine poem, and Mary Oliver is a fine poet. But this poem was written by William Stafford, not Mary Oliver! Please correct.
What poet doesn't recognise this 'climb'?