Monday, January 13, 2014

Poem for a Monday

In Sunday's NY Times Book Review the author Sue Monk Kidd said she tries "to read a poem every morning" with her coffee.  I think this is a marvelous practice ... provided you can find the quiet space in the morning maelstrom to actually savor the poem.

I'm still crushing on Mary Oliver (see last Monday's post) so here we go with another one of hers.  This one fell open this morning, which was a little scary because only yesterday I was talking to someone about despair.

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.

In other news from the Times:  author Jo Knowles wrote a very good review of Laurie Halse Anderson's latest novel, The Impossible Knife of Memory.  These two are among the best writers in young adult and middle grade fiction right now, and I want to rush out and get Knife as well as Living With Jackie Chan, which is Knowles' latest.

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