I haven’t always liked poetry. Quite the contrary, I avoided it. It made no sense. There was no felt connection between the writer’s creative expression and my heart. I lived without it for most of my life. And now, for some reason, I enjoy it.
Some of it, that is. Some of it really resonates with me now, and I can feel the words of the poet in my body. To my surprise, I’m moved.
One poem in particular that moves me deeply is called, “Wild Geese”. I first heard it read by a beloved Psychologist and Yoga teacher named Richard Miller, at a Yoga Nidra training I did with him a few years back. The poem captivated me then, and it still does today.
From here, it’s a poem about deep, unconditional acceptance. You don’t have to be or do anything to be part of the family of things.
Here it is.
Wild Geese by Mary Oliver
You don’t have to be good.
You don’t 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 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 things.
How does this poem speak to you? What’s it saying? How does it connect with you, your body, your journey to peace. Share your thoughts below.