I Saw Mary Oliver Read “Wild Geese”

It was WILD! I unexpectedly scored a ticket off Craigslist, from a woman who thought she was going but couldn’t at the last minute.  She gave me the freaking ticket, left it at Will Call, here in Seattle, at Benaroya Hall.

  As a poet myself, watching and listening to her read the poem was…it broke my heart wide open.  No, my heart swelled; it felt much too big for my chest.  And it ached, with love, and appreciation. You can read the “Wild Geese” poem here (this lets me practice using links).
Because most poets have read that poem, I decided to post another one of her poems that I love just as much, below:
The Journey by Mary Oliver
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

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