Misfit

Wild Geese

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.


Posted: Mon May 6th, 2013 at 10:55pm

Tagged: mary oliver wild geese poem words

36 Notes


  1. the-smell-jar reblogged this from beetroots
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    Was it consentual abuse? Or non-consentual abuse?
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  5. hobbitkaiju reblogged this from whentidessubside and added:
    My abuser introduced me to this poem. Oh, so many mixed memories.
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