Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

Read this brief poem by Mary Oliver, and enjoy how Oliver's words illuminate the connection between humanity and nature, offering solace and hope in the face of despair.

by le imposter atelier

5/30/20241 min read

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.

Mary Oliver (1935-2019) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet celebrated for her reflections on nature and the human experience.