Thursday, July 16, 2020


Lilies are one of my favorite flowers, and I think they must have been one of poet Mary Oliver's favorites too, as she wrote several poems about them.  Enjoy her poem below, along with some of my recent lily photographs. 

Lilies by Mary Oliver
I have been thinking
about living
like the lilies
that blow in the fields.

They rise and fall
in the edge of the wind,
and have no shelter
from the tongues of the cattle,

and have no closets or cupboards,
and have no legs.
Still I would like to be
as wonderful

as the old idea.
But if I were a lily
I think I would wait all day
for the green face

of the hummingbird
to touch me.
What I mean is,
could I forget myself

even in those feathery fields?
When Van Gogh
preached to the poor
of course he wanted to save someone--

most of all himself.
He wasn't a lily,
and wandering through the bright fields
only gave him more ideas

it would take his life to solve.
I think I will always be lonely
in this world, where the cattle
graze like a black and white river--

where the vanishing lilies
melt, without protest, on their tongues--
where the hummingbird, whenever there is a fuss,
just rises and floats away.

Oliver's poem was taken from her book "New and Selected Poems."


  1. Wonderful! I love lilies, too, and I also love Mary Oliver! So, of course I love this blog post, Karen, with all your beautiful lily captures and Oliver's wonderful words to go with them.

  2. Thanks, Jan. I’m glad you liked this post. It was really fun for me to do.