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So many things yet to learn

May 4, 2009

 

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The Swimming Lesson

 

Feeling the icy kick, the endless waves
Reaching around my life, I moved my arms
And coughed, and in the end saw land.

Somebody, I suppose,
Remembering the medieval maxim,
Had tossed me in,
Had wanted me to learn to swim,

Not knowing that none of us, who ever came back 
From that long lonely fall and frenzied rising,
Ever learned anything at all
About swimming, but only
How to put off, one by one, 
Dreams and pity, love and grace, —
How to survive in any place. 

by Mary Oliver

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