Mary Oliver (born 1935) is an American poet famous for her poems about nature.
A keen walker, she once said:
“When things are going well, you know, the walk does not get rapid or get anywhere: I finally just stop, and write. That’s a successful walk!”
Sleeping in the Forest is a beautiful poem that evokes the wonder and otherness found when deep in the woods. I don’t know if the poem describes an actual occasion when she slept in the forest but that is not important. I’ll let the poem speak for itself:
Sleeping in the Forest
I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.
from Sleeping In The Forest by Mary Oliver
© Mary Oliver
- See more quotes in praise of wild camping