My Beautiful Blog

An Actualiser's weblog

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

I adore her work…

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.

December 24, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. what a lovely Christmas gift, Sherri. I love this poem and Mary Oliver. I got to see and hear her read live at Smith College in Northampton, MA just before leavign that area after 17 years. The house was packed, standing room only, and the silence during her poems was palpable. I was moved to tears by this now elderly, white haired woman with a wry wit and humble demeanor. She too is a dog person, and just got a puppy! And she is already writing about him, so stay tuned for her new stuff, so pup oriented!

    Merry Christmas!

    Love from your new forever friend,


    Comment by mary | December 25, 2009 | Reply

  2. Thank you for the link to you here, Sherrilene! I love the poem too and hadn’t heard of Mary Oliver before so now I have a new favorite! Maybe I will read it to my bestest friend Joanna when we get together next week to reflect on 2009 and to look forward to 2010… it seems very appropriate to me!

    Merry Christmas!

    Comment by Amber | December 25, 2009 | Reply

    • Dear Sherrilene…

      How beautiful that you have shared this peaceful..divine piece with us here..Sitting here reading the words I do feel a sense of complete wonder and deep knowing..through the connection of your loving expressive heart..and the sweet color of connection..Thank you wonderful friend..I send you love..blessings and pray you have a joyous Christmas and wonderful moments..on and on..


      Comment by ange | December 26, 2009 | Reply

  3. I love Mary Oliver’s work also but don’t own any of her work. I live close to Smith College, but did not know that Mary Oliver was a resident of this area at one time. Thanks for including this in your blog; I will be reading it now. So many ways to be reminded of our essence!

    Comment by Sally Carlton | December 31, 2009 | Reply

    • Hi Sally,

      I don’t own any myself. I am borrowing only, as it is in the public domain! I normally post my own writings only but have been widening more in recent times since as you said, many writers reflect who we are so well.

      My other friend Mary Rives was fortunate to see her in person. I enjoy Mary Oliver’s perspective a great deal…

      Thanks for coming by.


      Comment by sherrilene | December 31, 2009 | Reply

  4. Poetic beauty!!! Thank you for spreading beauty.

    Comment by Samme | January 1, 2010 | Reply

  5. Hi Sherrilene,

    Are you sure this poem is in the public domain? How did you confirm this? I’m not saying it’s not, but I am a composer, and I’m trying to set this poem for mixed chorus a cappella. After a performance I may try to publish it, but I need to secure the rights.

    Thank you.

    Comment by Mari | May 16, 2010 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: