Thursday, March 02, 2006

Another Great Poem for Late Winter

I can't tell you how much I love Paperback Swap. We get donations of paperbacks from friends and family - mostly mysteries, older popular fiction, etc. and swap them (usually sending out and receiving one or two a day) for books like "Refuge" by Terry Tempest Williams, which arrived today.

On the first page. just before a map of the Great Salt Lake, is this favorite of mine, a poem by 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 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.

from Dream Work

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