This is how I feel about finishing my book + a celebratory poem

This is how I feel about finishing my book

To celebrate finishing my book, I want to share a poem I found a few weeks ago. This poem spoke so deeply to me and I kept it close while finishing my book. This poem reminds me to go on the journey regardless of who comes along. It reminds me to be brave. It reminds me to honor the small, inner voice. “There was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own….” I hope this poem inspires you today, too. xo. EE.

by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

  • Sarah Curran

    Love it! And congratulations. =)

  • Aprille

    OH I love this poem and needed it today!!!

  • Addie Zierman

    Beautiful. I need to get me a Mary Oliver book. (Also huge congrats!)

    • HopefulLeigh

      I was going to say the exact same thing!

  • Jessica Formerly-Benash Mell


  • Hännah

    This poem. So much love.

  • Leah

    Love Mary Oliver! Thanks for sharing.

    This is my personal favorite of hers:

  • Tara S

    Congratulations! Can’t wait!

  • Lucie

    I had the privilege of hearing Mary Oliver do a reading almost two years ago. Congratulations – I am very much looking forward to reading…wait, you haven’t told us the title yet! :-)

  • Kim Van Brunt

    This poem is incredibly encouraging to me, at the point I am right now in my book writing process (in a word: stuck). Thank you, friend. And many, many congratulations. I can’t wait to read. xo

  • Rachel

    You wear joy beautifully! Congratulations! And thank you for the poem. Love.

  • wren7

    This poem by Mary Oliver was extremely important to me when I left my abusive first husband. The first time I read it, tears streamed down my face. It spoke to my wounded soul. It hung on my wall in a beautiful frame for years. It was wonderful to read it again.

    Congratulations on finishing your book! I just found your blog by way of Libby Anne’s blog and loved your post about virginity.