When Death Comes – Mary Oliver

There is something about the poetry of Mary Oliver that hits home with me, and based on her popularity, I guess with others as well.  Her way with words, her ability to make words into feelings, is exemplified in When Death Comes, the title, in and of itself, an amazing combination of three words.  Not the question of “If Death Comes” or the darkness of “Death Comes,” but the simple realization, perhaps resignation, of “When Death Comes.”

One line I have always favored is “when death comes, like an iceberg between the shoulders”  — a line descriptive beyond words.  But as she often does, Oliver saves the best for the last:

“When its over, I don’t want to wonder

if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,

or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”

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