Poetry Sunday: Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

I'm a little late with this post but here's your poem for the week and it's one of my personal favorites. I hope you enjoy it, too.

Wild Geese

by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Comments

  1. "Perfection" is an overworked term, but as applied to Mary Oliver it is barely adequate.

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    Replies
    1. I'm particularly fond of that last stanza: "Whoever you are, no matter how lonely..." Perfection indeed!

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  2. One of my favorites too. I am partial to my own wild geese flying overhead. My favorite line is "Meanwhile the world goes on." Not much alone, but sandwiched between where she put it, powerful I think.

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  3. When I take a walk near sunset, I love when the geese take off for their nighttime sleeping places, their harsh honkings announcing themselves to the world and calling to the setting sun. This is one beautiful poem.

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  4. I can see why you love this one!

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    Replies
    1. "The world offers itself to your imagination..." Every line is perfect!

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  5. I love this poem. One of my personal favorites. "Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
    the world offers itself to your imagination,
    calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
    over and over announcing your place
    in the family of things."

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    Replies
    1. It's a favorite of mine also. But then I like most of her poems.

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