For the last few nights, just before I turn off my bedside lamp, I read a couple poems from Blue Horses by Mary Oliver. While other people might read scripture, journal for a few minutes, or (in my husband’s case) play games on an iPhone, I’ve found it soothing to read one or two poems.
Oliver’s writing is calm and thoughtful. Her language is succinct, her imagery is clear, and her words are perfect for pre-dream meditations.
Here’s an excerpt from one of her poems, “The Summer Day,” shared via the Library of Congress.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?