Morning Practice: Reading a Poem…..Again

For some time, our morning practice, before email or anthing digital,  has been to read a poem aloud (sometimes with a friend).  Recently, we decided to try reading the same poem every morning for a week. We discovered that each day, we’d hear it differently and find something new in those same few lines, as though another poem had somehow emerged from the original.

We were just about to hunt for a poem to include here when Susan Dworski, now living on an island in the great Pacific Northwest, threw one over our transom, with this a note:

“Raking up the thousands of maple leaves that have fallen this last week serves as our major aerobic activity now that the world has turned to the dark side. 

Mary Oliver nails it in this poem from her wonderful book,  A Thousand Mornings.”


Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness

Every year we have been

witness to it: how the

world descends

into a rich mash, in order that

it may resume.

And therefore

who would cry out

to the petals on the ground

to stay,

knowing as we must

how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?

I don’t say

it’s easy, but

what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world

be true?

So let us go on, cheerfully enough,

this and every crisping day,

though the sun be swinging east,

and the ponds be cold and black,

and the sweets of the year be doomed.

Susan Dworski

Susan Dworski


If you’d like to be read a poem, or just listen to one over and over, we’ve discovered that Spotify has a Spoken Word section. Poetry: In Their Own Voices features 350 tracks of poets performing their own work, from Elizabeth Bishop to EE. Cummings to Billy Collins and Allen Ginsberg. Beautiful.

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