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Wednesday Poetry: Wild Geese

July 22, 2009

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.

-Mary Oliver

2 Comments leave one →
  1. adrienne permalink
    July 22, 2009 11:22 pm

    Meg, I’ve seen this poem before and I love it. Thanks for sharing!

    The beginning reminds me of “Through Painted Deserts” by Donald Miller which you gave me once for a gift but had never read. Did you ever read it?

    • July 23, 2009 12:22 pm

      Mary Oliver is one of my favorites! I did read Through Painted Deserts, and loved it, although it’s been awhile. Donald Miller has a new book coming out though, which I’m excited to get my hands on in a few months!

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