A Poem for a Day When You Feel Like You’re Just Moving Grains of Sand

Song of the Builders
by Mary Oliver

On a summer morning
I sat down
on a hillside
to think about God—

a worthy pastime.
Near me, I saw
a single cricket;
it was moving the grains of the hillside

this way and that way.
How great was its energy,
how humble its effort.
Let us hope

it will always be like this,
each of us going on
in our inexplicable ways
building the universe.

(this poem appears in the books Why I Wake Early and New and Selected Poems, Volume Two by Mary Oliver)

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2 Responses to “A Poem for a Day When You Feel Like You’re Just Moving Grains of Sand”


  1. 1 Kerri May 4, 2011 at 2:51 am

    How funny, I read this poem this morning too! Love, love, love it!

  2. 2 geoffpope May 4, 2011 at 5:58 am

    Coming from a long line of ants,
    I take issue with Oliver’s choice
    of the word “inexplicable.”

    As for the title of her *Why I Wake Early…* book, I really like that, especially since this morning I crawled along these lines from someone named Stone: “I start early in the morning. I’m usually out in the woods . . . as soon as it gets light . . . then . . . I start as early as I can, and I go as long as I can.”


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Hello there! My name is Nicole K. Docimo, and I am an artist and writer from the U.S.A. but currently residing in Zurich, Switzerand. Thank you for visiting my blog!

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