Blog | Jan 4, 2011 | 2 Comments

[your one life]

[new year’s reflections]

Another year is starting, so I’m feeling reflective. Naturally I turn to other writers for their wisdom and inspiration. One of them asks a question that you might not be able to answer, but that you might want to think about all year long — and for the rest of your life, too.

One of my favorite poems is by Mary Oliver, called “The Summer Day.”

I don’t have permission to reprint it here, but you can read it at this link, and you can order her books from Beacon Press. (Please support Beacon Press. They are a fiercely independent publishing house that has brought us many American important voices.)

I’ll just reprint my favorite lines, which come at the end:

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Re-reading this poem reminds me of one of my all-time favorite quotes, which is from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. A card with this saying has been posted on my various office walls for 20 years. 

One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.

These are simple ideas and wishes from two very different, but very intelligent and thoughtful people, who worked hard at understanding life.

I hope you find some inspiration in their words.

Happy New Year!

Photo credit: American Academy of Poets on flickr. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
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Author: Claire Wagner

I'm a seasoned freelance writer/editor and an enthusiastic community manager. I'm passionate about developing and sharing good content.


Absolutely delightful and insightful. And no, didn’t mean to rhyme! Thanks Claire!!


Absolutely delightful and insightful. And no, didn’t mean to rhyme! Thanks Claire!!


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