Sleeping In The Forest

I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

by Mary Oliver

Comments (5)

Agree with Savita about the sad shame of so many souls suffering the same poverty and starvation, even in the midst of such affluence of our day. Wonderfully described and somehow elevates in its greatness even the sadness of poverty, saved by the pride and determination of the young person's largeness of soul. Panmelys
Breath taking! What incredible vision and ability to describe things so beautifully. Adversity is rarely acknowledged or applauded during its own lifetime. The line about flying away in a scant robe was entirely sexy and blasts of non-conformity. The first thing that came to mind while reading this poem was Emily Dickinson, who was shunned by her own contemporary poetic society for not conforming yet in death triumphed by becoming one of America's most beloved poets ever. If Mrs. Robinson's life had not ended before Emily's began I would have thought she was writing directly about her. I am so glad to have found her poem here, which is the greatest thing about Poemhunter. She will now reside in my heart alongside Emily and so many other great classical poets forever....
The unbending heart of great people never gives in, no matter what the sorrows are! something like this, is described in the poem. the sorrowing child, in the first part of poem, is teased by every single feature of nature. but she is stubborn enough to stand high. at last she reaches back her domain where she is untouchable by anything. thus she proves supreme
It is heartbreaking to think that what this poem describes so beautifully is faced by so many.
The descriptive beauty of the poem is wonderful to note and the tragedy of an innocent lady is quite moving to feel and feel very sad about this worst world where there is no peace except in tomb according to this poet!