27 November 2011

Wild Geese

Every so often (pretty regularly, actually) I go on a poetry kick.

You know.

When I start reading Walt Whitman and Maya Angelou and Edgar Allen Poe and Metallica lyrics, and religiously avoid anything Robert Frost or Alfred Tennyson--that is a poetry kick.

I like my poetry rare.

Like steak.

I don't eat steak, but I do eat poetry.

Poetry is best when it is raw, and full of naked emotion. Form, grammar, fancy ideas--none of them can compare to words that capture a heart on paper and preserve it so that others can find it and become a little less alone.

And with poetry kicks, I discover new poems. Here is my latest find, a poem that made me stop and think and reread and find comfort.

Wild Geese
(by Mary Oliver)

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.

I like that. "Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine."

Anyway...

Yeah. Poetry is good for the soul.

Love always,
Ashley

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