top of page
DSCN1031 copy strip.JPG

"Invitation", by Mary Oliver

Updated: Apr 22, 2020

Oh do you have time to linger for just a little while out of your busy

and very important day for the goldfinches that have gathered in a field of thistles

for a musical battle, to see who can sing the highest note, or the lowest,

or the most expressive of mirth, or the most tender? Their strong, blunt beaks drink the air

as they strive melodiously not for your sake and not for mine

and not for the sake of winning but for sheer delight and gratitude – believe us, they say, it is a serious thing

. . .

just to be alive on this fresh morning in the broken world. I beg of you,

do not walk by without pausing to attend to this rather ridiculous performance.

It could mean something. It could mean everything. It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote: You must change your life.

Mary Oliver, “Invitation,” A Thousand Mornings (New York: Penguin Books, 2013).

Invitation by Mary Oliver
I was so happy today, to find thistles in the neighborhood to illustrate this poem

304 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page