Mary Oliver- Poet

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees for

a hundred miles through the dessert,


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

landscape, over 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.


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