Stealing from Mary Oliver

You will recall that on Monday I said I would demonstrate STEALING FROM THE BEST by writing an essay about my labyrinth that tracks "The Ponds," from Mary Oliver's gorgeous Upstream, and which attempts to imitate (however poorly) her lyrical style.

First of all, this is hard, you guys!  I reserve the right to skip straight to ABANDONMENT.

Oliver is a much more careful observer of wildlife than I, which stands to reason since she's chronicling the wild ponds near her home in coastal Maine.  I have lots of squirrels and birds, but blue herons and pickerel, not so much.  Both the flora and fauna of my back yard are limited (though not as much as I think, of course).

So my essay will not be a paragraph-by-paragraph analog of hers, more of a in-the-sense-of analog.

Here's a broad outline of "The Ponds":

  • Birds
    • different species, sizes, times of year
  • The peninsula
    • origin of the ponds
  • Pond life
    • annual growth, cycle
  • Aerial view/map
  • Ducks
    • different species, annual cycle
  • Meditative space
    • reflection (!)
    • "If at this moment I heard a clock ticking, would I remember what it was, what it signified?"
  • Summer
    • fullness of the place

Now to slowly type out some paragraphs, à la Strategy #1 from Monday's post.