The Sun – by Mary Oliver


The Sun
Have you ever seen
in your life
more wonderful
than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon
and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone–
and how it slides again
out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower
streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance–
and have you ever felt for anything
such wild love–
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure
that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you
as you stand there,
or have you too
turned from this world–
or have you too
gone crazy
for power,
for things?
I enjoyed the following analysis.  

I have never read a more relaxing poem than “The Sun” by Mary Oliver. The short lines and imagery makes the poem very laid back. It takes me back to the homeland, and brings memories of the beach on a Sunday afternoon. Each stanza is like its own poem, flowing into the next. The mood of the poem is so carefree. Oliver uses words like billowing, and imperial distance, that puts you right into a beautiful summer day. The ending of the poem is a bit powerful too. It makes you feel guilty about the fact that we just ignore the nature of our planet Earth. We have “gone crazy for power, for things” instead of making the best use of mother nature. We have the most beautiful gifts given to us everyday that we wake up, and yet we continue to look for more. Mary Oliver makes this beautiful, powerful poem something that really puts things into perspective with out you even knowing! What is the real meaning of life? Aren’t we supposed to enjoy life itself? , and not the materials that society pushes in our face? No diamond ring, or sports car, will ever be as wild and wonderful as the sun.

Here is another reflection on the poem by Tanit Lopez.

“Have you ever seen anything in your life more wonderful than the way the sun, every evening, relaxed and easy, floats toward the horizon…

The way the poem starts, asking the reader to reflect on the sun might be one of the things I liked the most. It is not just a poem that you read and say ” Oh, it is beautiful”. This poem made me think and reflect about almost everything in life, not only the sun.  What would happen if one day we woke up and there was no sun to warm us? What would happen if we could no longer see the sun rise, the sun set? We take for granted things that happen everyday just because they become a routine. The sun became a routine for us. The poem invites us to reflect on it, how we stand empty handed with nothing to offer, how it is so necessary to us and we mean nothing to it.  I thank God everyday of all the things He has given us: nature is a beautiful example of things we take for granted, but still, things we could not live without. 


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