Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wild Geese

This poem has been running through my head for weeks.  It's one of my very favorites, so I'm sharing it today.  Enjoy.

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.


  1. That was quite beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

  2. I like this one too! Coincidentally, I first heard this a week ago on a Mormon blog called Faith Promoting Rumor where it was the subject of its own post.