A Poem for Tuesday

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Mary Oliver

Wild Geese

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.

–From Dream Work by Mary Oliver.

* * *

I don’t know about you, but I sure needed this poem today.

Image credit: Mary Oliver with her bichon rescue dog, Percy. Photo by Rachel Giese Brown.


hungryandfrozen said...

"the soft animal of your body" - oh, I love it!

Sera said...

I love this poem so much (i first saw it on jane's blog :)), it always comforts - especially those last 5 lines.

Gabriela said...

Always... I even have a desktop wallpaper featuring it, for stressful days. http://bit.ly/YQsH4e

Littlest Things said...

Such a wonderful and perfect poem for today. Thank you.

Allie said...

my favorite poem of all time.

Amelia said...

Literally crying here. I really needed this today. Thanks.

Kelly said...

Yes. I love Mary Oliver and had her Collected Works on my nightstand last year. When I couldn't sleep, or was wound too tight, I'd read a few poems and feel better about the world. (I need to start doing that again.

Debie Grace said...

I love this. Thank you. :)

tangentsandminutiae said...

Laurie Anderson said "There is nothing wrong with you. You're just a human being. It's not easy being a human being."

That's the feeling Oliver's poem gives me, which I guess is why it's my favorite.


kori said...

Yes, indeed. Just the thing I needed to read today (well, lately). Thank you so much for sharing.

Sally said...

I actually did, how did you know? :) I love this poem anew every time I read it.

Odessa said...

oh, that is such a sweet picture of mary oliver and percy. and this poem is so comforting, as always.

erica lorraine scheidt said...

yes. me too.

Rambling Tart said...

I did. So much. Thank you. :-)

Hila said...

I'm so glad this poem helped, everyone.

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

What a lovely way to begin a week. Thank you.

Hila said...

My pleasure Denise.

Bonnie said...

Beautiful poem. I often seek solace in the wild world.