Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thinking of Summer

Induja, oil on canvas, 18 x 18 inches, © 2010 Diane McGregor


The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean --
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down--
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?


Poem from New and Selected Poems, by Mary Oliver (1992: Beacon Press).


7 comments:

Dara Mark said...

What wonderful color - it is the freshness of summer.

Seth said...

A beautiful painting. The shades of green breaking through are such a beautiful reflection of summer.

Hannah said...

A gorgeous poem to add to your evocative rendition of summer. I like how just the barest bits of green are peeking through the hazy whites-like mist on a summer morning.

Roslyn Dames said...

Your art is incredible. These colors are so soothing, refreshing and alive. Amazing. I'm glad to have discovered your work.

Martina Voigt-Schmid said...

Wonderful painting and poem, a nice combination, your colours are so light!

Jeanne Raffer Beck said...

Hi Diane, did this powerful poem inspire the painting? How does poetry inform your work and process?

Diane McGregor said...

Hi Jeanne, actually I synchronistically came across the poem just after I finished the painting. I read a lot of Mary Oliver's poetry -- sometimes a poem will inspire the imagery, and other times I will find a poem that seems to connect with a particular image.