8.28.2008

Poetry Friday

Early, late, I can't seem to time Poetry Friday just right.

Here's a favorite from 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.

7 comments:

enc said...

Well, it's Friday in Australia, so this counts.

Mary Lee said...

This poem is one of my favorite "chill pill"s when I get too caught up in myself and the drama around me.

I think of this poem sometimes when the geese fly low in formation over the playground while I'm supposedly watching the children but I'm secretly watching the sky for hawks.

teach people not books said...

enc-true enough. thanks for reading my chaotically timed posts :]

mary lee-definitely a great poem to remind oneself that, event though it might seem as though one's problems or situations are overwhemingly important, "meanwhile the world goes on."

Justice4Claire said...

O's speech the other night had me re-reading Ginsburg's America, funny how some things keep coming back :

America it's them bad Russians.
Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.
The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia's power mad. She wants to take
our cars from out our garages.
Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Reader's Digest. her wants our
auto plants in Siberia. Him big bureaucracy running our fillingstations.
That no good. Ugh. Him makes Indians learn read. Him need big black niggers.
Hah. Her make us all work sixteen hours a day. Help.
America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.
America is this correct?
I'd better get right down to the job.
It's true I don't want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts
factories, I'm nearsighted and psychopathic anyway.
America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.

teach people not books said...

was just reading it myself, coincidentally. i keep a rotating collection on a windowsill in the living room. rather apropos: "Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical / joke?"

Rastamick61 said...

I'm putting my straight shoulder to the wheel !!!

laurasalas said...

I love this Oliver poem. Watching/hearing the geese fly overhead on their way south (I'm in Minnesota) gives me that same feeling as watching the ocean. So small, a part of the world, yet detached and awed by it, as well.

Thanks for sharing!