a new favorite

posted on: November 1, 2011

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, Wild Geese

image via

4 thought{s}:

  1. ooh i love this. i've read it once before and forgot about it until now. thank yo ufor sharing!

  2. This is one of my faves. I ordered a Mary Oliver book and read one poem every night for a month. I seriously recommend it - she has this way of touching you so deeply. Have you read, "The Journey?" Life changing.

  3. Sometimes I feel cheated that I wasn't exposed to Mary Oliver in high school or college. I love her style, love her poetry.

  4. I'm like Mallory... I wasn't exposed to Mary Oliver until earlier this year, and I can't understand how that's possible. Her poetry is heart-opening.


She's a piratey soul, full a' vinegar and glitter.

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