Evening Poetry, March 4

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.

You can find this poem in Thirst.