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A Poem: Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver, 1986

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 rain
are moving over the landscapes
over the praries and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese
high in the clear 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.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
kateherself
Aug. 15th, 2007 04:46 pm (UTC)
"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."


Wow. I love that.
I think I have to add that to the quotes on my page.
Wow.
liveonearth
Aug. 16th, 2007 07:11 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to hear that it hit you that way. This is one of my favorite poems...
owl_clan
Aug. 15th, 2007 04:51 pm (UTC)

FUCK I love this poem! It's been one of my favs for years!! LOVE IT!
liveonearth
Aug. 16th, 2007 07:12 pm (UTC)
=-]
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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