Saturday, June 20, 2009

Wage Peace...Learn to Knit & Make a Hat

I came across one of my favorite poems today, Wage Peace, by Mary Oliver. If you haven't discovered Mary Oliver's poetry yet, I am excited for you. You are in for a big treat. Here is a sample of her extraordinary writing:

Wage peace with your breath. Breathe in firemen and rubble, breathe out whole buildings and flocks of red wing blackbirds. Breathe in terrorists and breathe out sleeping children and freshly mown fields. Breathe in confusion and breathe out maple trees. Breathe in the fallen and breathe out lifelong friendships intact. Wage peace with your listening: hearing sirens, pray loud. Remember your tools: flower seeds, clothes pins, clean rivers. Make soup. Play music, learn the word for thank you in three languages. Learn to knit, and make a hat. Think of chaos as dancing raspberries, imagine grief as the out breath of beauty or the gesture of fish. Swim for the other side. Wage peace. Never has the world seemed so fresh and precious ... Have a cup of tea and rejoice. Act as if armistice has already arrived. Don't wait another minute.


  1. Do you have a source for this? When I Google it, some sites say Mary Oliver wrote it and others say Judyth Hill. I'd love to be sure I'm crediting it correctly. Thanks!

  2. FYI, I have now found that Judyth Hill is the writer of these words, not Mary Oliver. But you're right that anyone who isn't familiar with Mary's poetry needs to be!