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.
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Comments about this poem (Wild Geese by Mary Oliver by Alison Cassidy )
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(15 April 1958)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)
- Heather Burns