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The Crack Magazine

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A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver

“I go down to the shore in the morning/and I say oh, I am miserable/ what should I do?/ And the sea says/ Excuse me, I have work to do.” ‘I Go Down to the Shore’, the eight-line poem that opens A Thousand Mornings, is one that will make you laugh at the cruel apathy of the world and marvel at the perseverance of nature. Through her poetry, there are no boundaries between the natural world and our truest selves. ‘I Have Decided’ is an uplifting poem about finding inner peace, told through the metaphor of journeying up the mountains. ‘On Travelling to Beautiful Places’, which explores how God can be found in nature, is reminiscent of William Blake. Several poems also warn of the consequences of seeing ourselves as separate, or superior to, the world around us. Oliver chooses to warn us that we’re aboard a ship that is 'burning the world as we go’. MG

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