Twelve Moons Poem for Today: Sleeping in the Forest

By , March 26, 2011

If you’re reading Mary Oliver’s Twelve Moons as a lunar calendar with me, today is the day to read the poem, Sleeping in the Forest, on the last quarter moon.

This is a very significant poem in my family. I believe it’s the first Mary Oliver poem I read on my own, after being introduced to her work. I heard and was deeply moved by a reading of one of her similar poems by a presenter at a conference on aging I attended in Sitka. I believe that was In Blackwater Woods, but I’m no longer sure. Sleeping in the Forest has a very similar feel to it, offering me more of what first attracted me to her poetry.

Sometime after that, my brother chose the poem to read a the memorial held for a friend of his. She had been murdered, and her body hidden in the forest. The poem seemed terribly apropos.

You’ll note, if you’re participating, that we’ve reached a new phase in our “calendar.” We’ve read through the end of the book, near where we started in January, and are now circled around to the beginning of the book. If Ms. Oliver did consider her collection a lunar calendar, she seems to have chosen to start it in spring. With her keen interest in Nature, that doesn’t surprise me one bit.

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