“Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver

Wild Geese

The above image is from: Quotes By Women

 

Mary Oliver was born in 1935 in Ohio. As a young poet she was influenced by Edna St. Vincent Mallay and has received much critical acclaim over the years. “Known for its clear and poignant observations and evocative use of the natural world, Oliver’s poetry is firmly rooted in place and the Romantic nature tradition”, according to her bio on PoetryFoundation.org.  “A prolific writer of both poetry and prose, Oliver publishes a new collection every year or two.”

The following poem was published in 1986.

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.

from New & Selected Poems (Harcourt Brace).

About Dorothy Sander

Writer.

5 Comments

  1. What freeing, peaceful pondering. Thanks for sharing this poem.

  2. I totally adore Mary Oliver. May the soft animal of our body do what it does. May we feel a full part of this world and deeply hear the call of wild geese to surrender to it all.

  3. I’m so impressed with Mary Oliver words and happy to have discovered her .

  4. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is
    needed to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100% positive.
    Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks

    • I have another workshop starting in August for new bloggers. If you would like to receive more information contact me via email: AgingAbundantly@gmail.com. Just put “blogging workshop” in the subject line and I will keep you posted. It’s a great workshop that may be exactly what you need to get started. Dorothy

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