Wild Geese

Not too long ago a friend of mine sent me a poem by Mary Oliver via e-mail, then a week or so later another friend posted the same poem on her facebook page. A week after that I opened the newsletter from our local food co-op and the poem was printed on the back page. I do not believe in coincidences and so I have read this poem a few times to see what it has to say to me. It is really a lovely poem and with out further adieu I am passing it on to you along with an image of the beautiful Wisconsin River, which is just a few blocks from my home.

Wild Geese

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 yo like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-
over and over announcing your place in the family of things.

--Mary Oliver


yvonne said...

That's beautiful Susan, I had never read that before. Thank you for sharing that.

farmlady said...

This is one of my very favorite poems by one of my favorite poets. The first stanza of this poem is amazing...and the lines, "You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves." is exquisite.
Oh, I do love Mary Oliver....

k.somerville said...

Amazing. Thanks!