The Poetry Friday Round Up


The Poetry Friday Round Up is here today, but I hope you’ll all forgive me and let the comments serve as the round-up. We had a sudden death in our family yesterday, and I am distraught. I promise next time I host I will be in a more festive spirit.

by Mary Oliver

Here is a story
to break your heart.
Are you willing?
This winter
the loons came to our harbor
and died, one by one,
of nothing we could see.
A friend told me
of one on the shore
that lifted its head and opened
the elegant beak and cried out
in the long, sweet savoring of its life
which, if you have heard it,
you know is a sacred thing.,
and for which, if you have not heard it,
you had better hurry to where
they still sing.

Read the rest of the poem here.

48 thoughts on “The Poetry Friday Round Up

    • Catherine, I started with the poem and just now read your introduction. I’m *so* sorry for your loss. How awful…I’m holding your family in my thoughts and hoping some light will shine on you all through love and poetry….


  1. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I hope that you and your family find comfort in each other. Thank you for taking the time to share such a moving poem in the midst of your sorrow.


  2. Hello Catherine, thank you so much for hosting this week and having this up so early. Mary Oliver does something to one’s soul, doesn’t she? I truly am sorry for your loss and hope that poetry helps somewhat.

    Here is my link for today’s post. I have Maya Angelou’s poem paired with gorgeous art by Sir Edward Burne-Jones: Love’s Exquisite Freedom.


  3. So sorry to hear about your loss, Catherine. Thanks for the Mary Oliver poem and for hosting.

    At Alphabet Soup, I’m serving up a 5-course breakfast via The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations:

    My post will go live at 6 a.m. Friday morning.

    Love and prayers to you and your family.


  4. I am so sorry to hear about your loss, Catherine. When someone passes suddenly, it can be devastating and leave us, as Mary Oliver says, feeling like we’ve been broken open.

    My occasional series “World Poetry” continues today with 20-year-old poet Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal of Inida. Supriya’s second collection of poetry is MUSINGS OF MISS YELLOW. I’m looking forward to following her career. She has a bright future ahead.


  5. I had promised to respond to Poetry Friday, especially since you were hosting, Catherine. What I wrote seems so trivial now about the last lines of John Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn”… but it is too late to change now. So, here is my contribution for August 20th:
    I do want to note, however, some small lines of comfort from Keats to share:
    “She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
    For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!”


  6. Dear Catherine,
    Thank you for offering us space to share at this time. Sending light from my heart.
    And isn’t always a shock that life continues swirling around despite our own hard times?

    At TeachingAuthors, we are deep into our Back To School series and I’m recommending two very different books: one on food (DEAR TOMATO ~ an International Crop of Food and Agricultural Poems) and one on forgiveness (New Year at the Pier–a Rosh Hashanah Story)

    it goes live Friday morning


  7. Catherine, loss leaves us with such a sadness. Mary Oliver’s poem is touching. Thank you for taking the time to create a space for Poetry Friday in the midst of your tragedy. I am offering a post, Digital Poetry in the Classroom, with a look at the genre that has provided me with much joy in my own work and in the creation of my latest gallery, Summer Splashings.


  8. Sorry to read about your loss, Catherine…I hope you’re surrounded by a lot of loving family right now. Here is a link to a poem that might help – it helped me when I lost someone I loved. It speaks to all the different things life can offer up – “the ripe, the sweet, the sour, the hollow and the whole.”

    I have two nearly identical posts up for Poetry Friday – one at The Drift Record and the other at Books Around the Table – about the children’s poems of Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral. Do me a favor, folks, and read the one at Books Around the Table and, if you have time, look around the blog for posts by Julie Paschkis, Laura Kvasnosky, Bonny Becker and Margaret Chodos-Irvine. Here’s the link:


  9. Oh, Catherine. I’m so sorry for your loss. The Mary Oliver poem and link to Parker J. Palmer’s heartbreak essay are comforting. Thank you for hosting despite your sorrow. My thoughts are with you.

    This past Wednesday, August 19, was National Aviation Day – I wrote a poem for this holiday that’s featured in THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR CELEBRATIONS. My Poetry Friday offering is a giveaway of one copy of both the teacher/librarian and student editions of the anthology. Here’s the link:


  10. Catherine, that was way too fast. I am crying for you. I want to wrap my arms around you. I’m sorry you had to host in the midst of this tragedy; however, this is an awesome community of friends holding you up today.

    I present another Summer Poem Swap gift from Diane Mayr, the gift of the true song. “Sing the good. Sing the bad.” Seems especially appropriate today.


  11. Dear Catherine, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers as you journey through this. Thank you for the lovely Mary Oliver and for hosting. I’ve sharing all my summer swap lovelies from Heidi, Joy, Jone, Donna & Margaret:

    Also, I posted poems earlier this week from 3 Old Poets on aging, being an old poet:


  12. Please accept my sympathy for your sudden loss, Catherine. I am holding you and your family in my heart, wishing you a bit of peace in your sadness. You posted such a beautiful poem for all of us; thank you.


  13. So sad to hear of your sudden loss, Catherine. But you still found time to leave us with a wonderful poem. Thank you. Great idea to let this be the roundup.

    This has been a terrible year for wildfires in our province and neighboring states. My post today is a few thoughts about these natural (and sometimes human-caused) disasters:


  14. Oh, Catherine, I’m saddened by this sudden loss. Prayers for comfort and solace for your family and loved ones as you face this difficult time.

    I’ve missed posting for almost two months. Glad to be back and sharing a favorite poem by Kristine O’Connell George.


  15. Hello Catherine:

    My thoughts are with you and your family. Life can be so cruel sometimes. As you can tell from these comments, there are streams of light being sent your way. My heart weeps for you all.


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