Friday poetry 3: The fish

[Note: Few poets, or others for that matter, have captured the essence of our life in the world as Mary Oliver has.  How will we live in harmony with the earth? There are no easy answers.]

rockfish.jpgThe fish
Mary Oliver

The first fish
I ever caught
would not lie down
quiet in the pail
but flailed and sucked
at the burning
amazement of the air
and died
in the slow pouring off
of rainbows. Later
I opened his body and separated
the flesh from the bones
and ate him: I am the fish, the fish
glitters in me; we are
risen, tangled together, certain to fall
back to the sea. Out of pain,
and pain, and more pain
we feed this feverish plot, we are noursihed
by the mystery.

[Fish print by Lori Hatch]

About Emmett Duffy

I am a Natural Patriot and an ecologist with expertise in biodiversity and its importance to human society. My day job is Professor of Marine Science at the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
This entry was posted in Biophilia, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Friday poetry 3: The fish

  1. kevin z says:

    “… we are nourished by the mystery.”

    what a great line and way to end a poem. I love the fish print btw, I saw some last summer at our local Arts Fest. One guy was making fish prints and on the back was the recipe he used for that particular fish when he ate it!

  2. wow, this is one great find. An excellent piece by M. Oliver, perfectly defines the law of nature…