Books Fairy Tales, Romances, and Happy-CYBILS-After Poetry Poetry Friday Reading Themes

[Poetry Friday] Celebrating the Joy of Loving in Mary Oliver’s Felicity

poetry friday

Myra here.

1655922_1085314521514023_3456546929052262182_n (2)

As we continue our romance-filled January-February, I am excited to share the very first book I finished this year. Thank you to Kimberley Moran for hosting this week.



Written byMary Oliver
Published by: Penguin Press, 2015
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

There are 38 poems in all in this precious collection, divided into three themes: (1) The Journey, (2) Love, and one poem in (3) Felicity. If you are looking for a book that will provide a quiet balm – singing of hope and brimming with steadfast faith that isn’t self-righteous or quietly indignant, then this is the book for you.

I think what I like best about Mary Oliver’s poetry is how every verse includes the reader, invites them in to marvel at everything that she sees. It never makes the reader feel inadequate for not seeing the wonder that she sees. There is shared joy here, made more luminous with the knowledge that it isn’t always pretty, that it is a hard-won beauty – one that comes after brokenness, ugly truths, perhaps even heartbreak or a sense of loss.

My favourite title from this collection signifies all that and brought unbidden tears to my eyes, and my Poetry Friday offering to you all this Valentine season – because fragments of pain can create a multi-coloured mosaic of mirth, a quiet felicity that permeates, and spreads out into the world, tendrils of joy amidst “everything that was broken.” Sometimes love can be held and cherished despite of, and not always because of. 

I took a photo of the page and edited the image using an iPhone app.


Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

15 comments on “[Poetry Friday] Celebrating the Joy of Loving in Mary Oliver’s Felicity

  1. I received this book for Christmas, Myra – and cherish every poem in it. What a treasure!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love Mary Oliver’s work…thanks for featuring this! I hope more people will read her because of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for doing in this post–and in all your posts–what you like best about Mary Oliver’s prowess: inviting the reader in without making the reader feel inadequate. Thank you! So much brokenness; so much hopefulness. Here’s to Felicity. God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love Mary Oliver’s work but haven’t seen this book yet. Just checked and am surprised to see our library doesn’t have it in the collection. I’m going to recommend they acquire it.
    Thanks for the poem, and for the lovely way you shared it. Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Made more luminous with the knowledge that it … is a hard-won beauty” — well said! I love “How can this be, but it is.”


  6. Thanks for sharing the poem and your thoughts about the book. I’ve yet to see this one and look forward to savoring each and every poem. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have this book, too, Myra, and have loved each poem, a bit at a time. I love the way you presented this poem, beautifully poignant. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, I’m afraid I’m in the “haven’t seen this yet” camp, but your beautiful post will have me remedying that. Thank you for sharing, Myra, and wishing you graceful touches of those “Forever” moments this weekend and beyond. XO

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Myra, I love how you merged the two images. It’s quite evocative!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m a Mary Oliver fan too–“honorary Poet Laureate of the Unitarian Universalists”–but this poem seems to strike out in a new and welcome direction. Thanks for the personalized view of this heavenly poem!


  11. maryleehahn

    Oh…that ending!


  12. Every time I go to Tattered Cover I pick up this book and read a few poems. So lovely. I want it. The poem you have chosen– so much truth, I think. That last line is just, just, um, I don’t think I have the right word. And I love the image you have paired with it. Gorgeous.


  13. The Oliver poem you shared highlights what I love about her work. And you named that quality so beautifully in your post: a “steadfast faith that isn’t self-righteous or quietly indignant.” Going off to purchase this gem!


  14. Hi, Myra. I loved reading about how this book, and this poem in particular, speaks to you. Your presentation of the poem makes it all the more compelling.


  15. The image complements the writing perfectly. Wow! “Luminous” is the perfect descriptor for this poem.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: