Madwoman Out of the Attic

a feminist trudging forward in a patriarchal world

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Wild Geese

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.

I like this poem. I like the idea that to be your best you simply have to love what you love. You have to discover the best individual you that you can be, and work to become it and embrace it. And that might be different for different people, and that's fine. I am also compelled by the idea that we, all the living organisms on earth are part of one huge family. We all have our despair and our challenges, but life and the world go on and it's beautiful.


Post a Comment

<< Home