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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Paying Homage to White, Oliver and Millay (Tuesday's Truths WK 119)

Welcome to the 119th "episode" of my Tuesday's Truths series. I am honoring it by sharing the mini essay posted atop this entry which was written by E.B.White and published ninety-two years ago today on March 26, 1927.

Followers of this blog undoubtedly know that White is one of my favorite writers and whenever I get the chance to share his letters or passages from his books as well as his essays, I'm eager to let  others know about him.

Regarding the works of Edna St. Vincent Millay, I confesss I don't know as much about them (understatement) as I do of a number of other writers, including the poet Mary Oliver, who died this past January.

I'm quite acquainted with Oliver's poetry re a number of birds (including her poems which reference types of avian creatures who visit my garden such as the male Northern Cardinal...

European starlings...

and the Northern mockingbird...

... which are all included in my book series, Words In Our Beak.*

I'm also know of Oliver's poems re bird types whom I've seen in Central Park, such as Cormorants (who are featured in volume three of the series), Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets; all seen in the following images respectively.

And I've studied her non-bird-themed poems including ones that tell "stories" of bees (an insect who is featured in volume one of my series)....

as well as her works of poetry telling "tales" of squirrels and raccoons; who are animals I've seen in the cities' parks.

During this Lenten Season, I find myself thinking of the following poem by Mary Oliver:

Dear Lord, I have swept and I have washed but
still nothing is as shining as it should be
for you. Under the sink, for example, is an
uproar of mice it is the season of their
many children. What shall I do? And under the eaves
and through the walls the squirrels
have gnawed their ragged entrances but it is the season
when they need shelter, so what shall I do? And
the raccoon limps into the kitchen and opens the cupboard
while the dog snores, the cat hugs the pillow;
what shall I do? Beautiful is the new snow falling
in the yard and the fox who is staring boldly
up the path, to the door. And still I believe you will
come, Lord: you will, when I speak to the fox,
the sparrow, the lost dog, the shivering sea-goose, know
that really I am speaking to you whenever I say,
as I do all morning and afternoon: Come in, Come in.

I've referenced this poem here on Blogger in the past, but it comes to mind again today as I prepare for a Lenten-themed event that I plan to attend tomorrow.

But getting back to the writers I'm honoring in today's post, I may not be very familiar with Edna St. Vincent Millay's  works, but Mary Oliver certainly was. 

According to a number of sources, including a page within Wikipedia, "At 17, the poet Mary Oliver visited Steepletop (one of Millay's homes) and became a close friend of Norma (Millay's sister). Oliver eventually lived there for seven years and helped to organize Millay's papers."

Today I give many thanks to wonderful writers who leave such a legacy and I'm very grateful for the inspiration they have given me in my writing; including my Words In Our Beak book series.
*Info re my three volume Words In Our Beak book series.

Volume One: ISBN: 9780996378529
Book Seller Info:
Barnes & Noble On-Line:
book culture On Columbus (a bookstore on the UWS in NYC):

Volume Two: ISBN: 9780996378536
Book Seller Info:
Barnes & Noble On-Line:

Volume Three: ISBN: 978099637853
Book Seller Info:
Barnes & Noble On-Line:


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