Mary Oliver’s Poem for the Last Quarter Moon

By , September 20, 2011

If you’re reading Mary Oliver’s Twelve Moons as a lunar calendar with me this year, it’s time to read the poem for September’s last quarter moon, Aerialists.

This one has an interesting message, one that is particularly pertinent to us, as we make our way  through Canada at this moment to return to the homestead after taking Aly to college. If everything’s on schedule, we’re probably sick of driving right now, wishing we were soaring through the air like an aerialist.

“Aerialist”—there’s an endangered term. There aren’t nearly as many circuses performing in this century as did even in my childhood. I hope this doesn’t become a lost art. I imagine I’d trade everything else a circus had to offer to preserve it. The athleticism, timing and daring thrills me, one who trudges, often “fervent,” occasionally “irresolute.”

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