On Nature and Mary Oliver—Wellesley College NaPoWriMo

Counterpoint editor Cecilia Nowell, ’16, reflects on Mary Oliver’s poetry

Wellesley College NaPoWriMo

by Cecelia Nowell, ’16

mary-oliver Mary Oliver (pc The Poetry Foundation)

I woke up from a nap today, disoriented but refreshed, and wandered outside to grab a late-night snack from the campus center. The sun had long since set, and the stars greeted me as I walked through the quad. Something about the combination of staring up at the stars and wearing my mother’s raincoat, reminded me of family camping trips. Of the peace of the outdoors. Though peace, of course, is not the right word. I tried to describe how I feel in nature a few weeks ago while walking around Walden Pond, and could only say that it makes me feel brave. Somehow, the combination of knowing that I am but one person scattered among trees and constellations but also someone who can survive in the wilderness makes me feel dangerously safe. Many poets have reflected on this feeling…

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