Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How About A Mary Oliver Poem?

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 you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

Artwork above is You Are Not Alone by the incredible April Deacon. Go see more of her work here and be thrilled.

And get yourself a Mary Oliver collection why don't you? She makes me swoon.


  1. I was quoting this VERY poem three hours ago on a porch. I couldn't get through the first line because it always makes me tear up! How fortuitous that you posted it here today!

  2. That just makes my day! So good, right? Gawd.

    Also, I miss hangin' out on porches!

  3. You might be my new favorite person. This is one of my favorite Mary Oliver poems, I just signed up for the Schunited Schexplorer card, and the Actual Gosling made me choke on my coffee. Instant fan.

  4. I was going to type basically the same comment as Arrie(Bee) but it seems I've been beaten to the punch (well, and I haven't gotten the credit card yet but I am SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING).

    Anyway, I liked your Billfold article. And I like your blog! And I really, really like this poem, despite usually hating poetry. I guess what I'm trying to say is A+ would read again.

  5. Awwww you GUUUUUYS! This just made my day. Thank you for clicking over and saying such nice things! I'm getting all verklempt over here.

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