Late Friday Poetry Blogging

My favorite from the first time I heard it in 2000 during CPE:

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 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.

–Mary Oliver, Dream Work

6 thoughts on “Late Friday Poetry Blogging”

  1. While not poetry, it reminds me of that other piece of advice:
    Be like geese: fly together, because it’s better with friends. Be like geese: change positions, because it gets tiring always being at the front.
    Be like geese: don’t ever abandon another goose, because we all need to be supported at some point in time.
    Be like geese: when new members want to join your flock, let them.

  2. badger, I’m glad you liked it. I love the way she writes about her experience of nature, something for which I cannot usually find words. (Odd, since I can find plenty of words for other things.)
    rm, I love that! How true.

  3. By “rm” I meant RR. Clearly I stayed up too late last night!
    I’m glad the poem struck the right note. She is a wondrous poet.

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