Mary Oliver Reads Her Beloved Poem “Wild Geese” – The Marginalian

“Whoever you might be, regardless of how lonely, the world gives itself to your creativeness…”

Mary Oliver (September 10, 1935–January 17, 2019) is among the many most beloved and most prolific poets of the previous century — a loyal craftswoman of beautiful poems and a sage of the secrets and techniques of the craft itself.

On this recording from a 2001 occasion held by the Lannan Basis — the identical studying that gave us Oliver on the magic of punctuation — the beloved author reads the poem that may go on to change into certainly one of her most celebrated and lend its title to her 2004 quantity Wild Geese: Chosen Poems (public library). Oliver’s work speaks so deeply and with such brave honesty to a few of our most profound human perplexities, struggles, and exaltations that it’s learn in all places from graduation addresses to yoga lessons, endlessly replicated on the social net and borrowed for these formulaic chapter-opening quotations in pop-psychology and self-help books. And but regardless of the huge publicity, one thing singular, one thing mesmeric and immutably transferring occurs as Oliver swirls the intricate thought-things of her poem in her personal mouth — to say nothing of the impossibly charming George Eliot anecdote with which she prefaces the studying:

by Mary Oliver

You don’t have to be good.
You don’t have to stroll in your knees
For 100 miles by means of the desert, repenting.
You solely need to let the gentle animal of your physique
love what it loves.
Inform me about despair, yours, and I’ll let you know mine.
In the meantime the world goes on.
In the meantime the solar and the clear pebbles of the rain
are transferring throughout the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep timber,
the mountains and the rivers.
In the meantime the wild geese, excessive within the clear blue air,
are heading house once more.
Whoever you might be, regardless of how lonely,
the world gives itself to your creativeness,
calls to you just like the wild geese, harsh and thrilling —
time and again saying your house
within the household of issues.

Wild Geese: Chosen Poems is a soul-stretching learn in its entirety. Complement it with Oliver’s deeply endearing Canine Songs, the most effective books of 2013.

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