English poetry

Poems in English

When Death Comes

When Death Comes

When death comes
Like the hungry bear in autumn;
When death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

To buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
When death comes
Like the measle-pox

When death comes
Like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
What is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
As a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
And I look upon time as no more than an idea,
And I consider eternity as another possibility,

And I think of each life as a flower, as common
As a field daisy, and as singular,

And each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
Tending, as all music does, toward silence,

And each body a lion of courage, and something
Precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
If I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
Or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.



Poem When Death Comes - Mary Oliver