Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me (poetry recitation)

Poet, Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver wrote so many beautiful poems, selecting only one for a Saturday recitation was no easy task. I am most familiar with her poem, “The Journey,” however, I enjoy the experience and challenge of learning a new poem a few days before a blog post. My recitation selection, “Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me,” has a subtle melancholy transformed by gentle beauty and hope. Oliver’s ability to tell a moving story with an economy of words is impressive. This one spoke to me Monday night. πŸ˜‰ Coincidentally, we had a rare desert rain the next day. I suppose I chose right!

Author Bio: Mary Oliver was born in Cleveland, Ohio on September 10, 1935. Best known for her gift of writing about the “quiet occurrences of nature,” it is no surprise to learn that Mary spent time exploring and writing poetry in the woods as a child; her escape from a difficult home. Oliver attended Ohio State University and Vassar College, but did not earn a degree from either. However, she did receive Honorary Doctorates from The Art Institute of Boston, Dartmouth College, Marquette University, and Tufts University and she taught at many colleges and universities. Influenced by Edna St. Vincent Millay, Oliver was a prolific writer of poetry and prose, earning numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and a Lannan Literary Award for lifetime achievement. Oliver met her forty-year partner, photographer Molly Malone, during a trip to Austerlitz in the late 1950s; the two lived in Provincetown, Massachusetts until Cook’s death in 2005. Oliver eventually relocated to Florida. She died of lymphoma on January 17, 2019.

Writerly updates: The Story You Need to Tell Writing workshops are a wrap until 2022. Feels weird writing that year! My book project is coming along and taking me on quite a journey.

Thank you for visiting, reading, listening, and watching. Be well. πŸ’— Michele

Find my photos, reels, and micropoetry on IG @mlsefton

References: Poetry Foundation, Mary Oliver Biography, Poets.org, Wikipedia

Photos: my images taken during my July ’21 writing retreat in the Cascade Mountains, Oregon

Β© 2021 Michele Lee Sefton

68 thoughts on “Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me (poetry recitation)

  1. So awesome poem ,last night the rain spoke to me πŸ‘ŒπŸŒ·πŸ™so special imaginations,lovely πŸ‘
    Rain happily falling from clouds to the earth ,greenery , standing down the tree and after
    rain looking stars all marvellous !! seeing you so sweet talk also gorgeous πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜Š
    Grace wishes and happy weekend πŸ’•πŸ’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I sure enjoy your way with words, Jaya. My tone felt a bit subdued (to me), but I greatly appreciate you injecting some life into my recitation. πŸ˜† The poem does have a dream-like, magical quality to it. A lovely description – thank you so much. πŸ’

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oliver definitely left us a treasure-trove of poems to enjoy, hopefully for many generations. Thank you – I needed a little more time with this one. Practice time became baking and eating time. πŸ˜† I appreciate you visiting and commenting, during your busy weekend. πŸ™πŸ»

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my Michele, what a great choice from Mary Oliver’s amazing collection. It’s so poignant that you chose a poem about the caress of the rain and the occurrences of nature before getting unexpected rain showers in your neck of the woods. πŸŒ§πŸŒ΅β›ˆπŸŒ³ And to serve up a tranquil selection from John Coltrane was a great, beautiful serenade to your illustrious ending my dear. 🎡🎷🎢 Thanks for sharing these special and endearing moments with us girlfriend!!! You gave a fabulous performance! πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ¦‹πŸ‘πŸ½

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Kym. I was quite delighted to see water fall from the sky! Hallelujah!! I was captivated for a bit – easy way to be when the sight of it is so rare. Thanks too, for mentioning my music selection, that I have been enjoying. πŸ’– You are most welcome and thank you kindly for your sincere support. This one felt a bit rushed and I was/am beyond ready to smash my new phone that can’t seem to focus consistently. Sounds like me. πŸ˜‚ Enjoy your weekend! You have added light to mine. βœ¨πŸ’–

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      1. You know girlfriend, I have to reread your messages because they add such life and energy to be taking it all in. πŸ“– You did a wonderful job with your recitation, and I think Mary would be so honored and delighted that you paid homage to her in such a profound way. πŸ€—πŸ’πŸ₯° THANK YOU for allowing your light to shine on all of us on this beautiful day! πŸŒžπŸ™πŸ½βœ¨ Enjoy the rest of your weekend Dancing Queen! πŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸŽΆπŸ’ƒπŸ½

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s nighttime and you are still adding light to my day. 🌟 Talk about a treasure – it’s you! Your encouragement makes it all worthwhile and takes the edge off of my phone issues, that are pushing me over the edge. πŸ€ͺ Thank you. Dancing into a new week. Yes! πŸ€—πŸ’
        πŸ’ƒπŸ½πŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸ’ƒπŸ½πŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸ’ƒπŸ½πŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸ’ƒπŸ½πŸ’ƒπŸΌ

        Liked by 1 person

    1. A peaceful poem that captures a heavenly rainfall. Of course, it can be metaphorical too. I am glad you enjoyed my post, Jeff. I also enjoyed learning more about Oliver. Yes, to Coltrane – a perfect pairing! 🎷 Thank you very much. πŸ’

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed, peaceful, and it can be. I enjoyed it much. Ah! Yes, perfect. I just picked up a Coltrane album in Portland. 🎼🎡🎢 Magnificent. You’re welcome, Michele. Always. ❀️πŸ₯°

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    1. Seeing your name and beautiful face in my feed makes me smile. Thank you for watching my recitation, beautiful poet. πŸ’ I hope you enjoyed your weekend and have a week full of joy and laughter. πŸ’ And energizing walks too! 😊

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  3. Pingback: Last Night the Rain Spoke to MeΒ (poetry recitation) | johncoyote | THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON...

    1. Thank you so much, Dwight. The video feature on my phone was/is testing my patience, so I greatly appreciate you saying that. 😊 Mary Oliver was a talent! I enjoy memorizing lines. Good times! 😁 Best to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I adore Mary Oliver.. You must already know that by now.. πŸ₯°. Your recitation of this poem was just so beautiful, Michele. Mary definitely has been a big inspiration to me.. There’s just something about the way she writes.. It takes me to another time.. And I forget my own world.. Just for a little bit….πŸ˜Šβ€οΈπŸ€—πŸ’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I do know that Diana and I am sure Oliver would be an equal fan of your poetry. πŸ’– It is very kind of you to offer positive feedback. I feel this one needed another take, but I was getting very frustrated with my phone and needed to wrap it up. I appreciate your support. πŸ™πŸ» I agree… I love her work. Next year, I will do another from her vast collection. I love your visits. Have a wonderful week and enjoy the season with your family. πŸ€— πŸ’ 🌞

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  5. Michele, this poem is so great. Yes, we should try to listen to the rain, because then maybe it will speak to us too. πŸ’•There are so many wonderful things in nature that are so magical and special. I love our planet!
    Best to you, Michele…Rosie from Germany

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, Rosie. Mary Oliver was an amazing talent and yes, listening to nature always delivers lessons, surprises, and often magic too. Thank you so much for visiting and sharing your inspiring thoughts, artist Rosie. 🌹 Have a wonderful week creating and enjoying life! ✨

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: White Flowers (audio poem, photos, & music) – My Inspired Life

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