MOZART, for EXAMPLE
by Mary Oliver
All the quick notes
Mozart didn't have time to use
before he entered the cloud-boat
are falling now from the beaks
of the finches
that have gathered from the joyous summer
into the hard winter
and, like Mozart, they speak of nothing
but light and delight,
though it is true, the heavy blades of the world
are still pounding underneath.
And this is what you can do too, maybe,
if you live simply and with a lyrical heart
in the cumbered neighborhoods or even,
as Mozart sometimes managed to, in a palace,
offering tune after tune after tune,
making some hard-hearted prince
prudent and kind, just by being happy.
Master of the Rose Garden
Mistress of the Rose Garden
. . . And Their New Spring Chick
I would rather learn from one bird how to sing than teach 10,000 stars how not to dance.
Mary Oliver's poem, "Mozart, for Example," is found in Thirst: Poems by Mary Oliver (Beacon Press: Boston, 2006).