IT’S NATIONAL POETRY MONTH. Here is one of the finest poems ever written. In my opinion. It’’s a perfect poem for this day, these days. Of course like all good poems, it’s perfect for any day. The poem, by Mary Oliver, is entitled ‘Wild Geese.’
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles in 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
Drawing by Douglas Wood