Thursday, April 29, 2010

you do not have to be good...

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.

"Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver
from Dream Work
published by Atlantic Monthly Press
© Mary Oliver
Lindsey said...

One of my favorite poems, ever. Thank you. xo

Annje said...

beautiful. I once submitted a poem to the Atlantic monthly... rejected. It wasn't as good as this one ;-)

Brigindo said...

gorgeous. i do so love her. thanks for sharing.

Ms. Moon said...

This is such a good one. Thank-you.

Therese said...

the clear pebbles of the rain

LOVE.

Laura said...

I love this poem. Something about those geese. Tragedy to have a cervical injury.

Boy Crazy said...

this is so beautiful. I actually had never read it before. Thank you for sharing -- it actually fits so well with what I've been reading and thinking about these past few days.

-elizabeth

Elizabeth said...

No matter how many times I read this poem, I can't believe how beautiful and perfect it is. Thanks for posting.

Annie said...

Thanks for posting this. It's a beautiful poem. I especially love the last stanza.

Julia Christie said...

What an absolutely evocative, lovely lovely poem.

Thanks for sharing!

Smiles

The Empress said...

I've never come across this before. It's beautiful. Thank you for that.

Allegra Smith said...

Alike spirits think alike. No wonder we made the same choice. Love from here.

Jeanne said...

This is a lovely thing to encounter on a too-much-week-not-enough-weekend Friday morning....

starrlife said...

I've always loved this poem!

Beth said...

Yes.
You found the perfect poem for yourself right now - and for others.

Elisabeth said...

A sustaining moment through this poem. I trust all is well.

just making my way said...

Oh, I love this. Thank you for sharing.

Kass said...

One of the few poems I committed to memory. So perfect for the last day of National Poetry Month.

Marion said...

I think this is Mary Oliver's best poem ever. It always touches my heart no matter how many times I read it. Thanks for sharing it. Blessings! xo

Nicole Jarecz said...

beautiful poem!

deb said...

this is one of my all time favourites.
Mary Oliver is incredible

esbboston said...

Thank you so much for this! When you try to wrap yourself around these thoughts you find they meld into your inner being, brighten, and say be a hue man.

Nancy C said...

Thank you. So, so much.

Bethany said...

thank you for this important and beautiful reminder.

thenextarrow said...

mary oliver was just in cleveland and i wasn't able to see her. major sigh.

i adore this poem.

xo Alison

La Belette Rouge said...

This too is one of my favorite poems.

Cheryl said...

That's wonderful, I loved reading that poem! Thanks for posting.

Karlijn said...

Nice poem! It's so pretty.

Lovely World said...

I love this poem every time I hear it or read it. Thanks. I just caught up on the last few posts, and my oh my you have been swamped. Hoping you can be at ease.

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

It's a relief to read, really.

Babe in Babeland said...

I am thinking of you and whispering prayers out.

Terresa said...

Mary Oliver is a Saint, a Goddess, a Poet.

The more I read Oliver, the more I feel I know her and see the world through her eyes in bits and flashes. She is a blessing to me.

Kirie said...

My favorite poem. Something about needing to be told "its okay--you have a right to exist." That really resonates.....

Shaista (Lupus in Flight) said...

Thankyou for introducing me to Mary Oliver... have just copied her words into my poetry journal...

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