Mary Oliver’s “Wild Geese” is a poem about many things, depending on your interpretation. To me, it is exactly about the first line, “You do not have to be good.” There is repetition of the phrase “you do not”, indicating that the poem is going to tell you what to do with your life. However, I believe it does the opposite. The poem is about not having to be good, but it is also about not having to do anything. Like the wild geese, life guides you in a direction that you inevitably have no control over.
Oliver paints a clear picture of nature through her diction, and she sets a fresh and relaxing tone. It is almost as if you can hear the geese flying by and the world continuing on as you read it. She uses contrasting weather and atmospheres, such as the desert, mountains, and rivers to represent the various places in life.
The final line of the poem is “in the family of things,” perfectly tying up the poem. The wild geese have been away from where they came, or their families, and are returning home once again without even realizing. We as people make mistakes. We lose sight of who we are and what we care most about. Oliver is stressing the importance of family and how when we are our most broken, our families are the only ones who know how to pick up the pieces.
I chose this poem because it is one of my many favorites by Rupi Kaur. This poem, like so many of her's, is deeply personal and that is why I chose it. The entire poem is written in first person. Because of this, reading it feels like the words are coming directly from you. This draws me to the poem because it makes me feel her pain like it's my own. I can feel the intense desperation she feels for this person in her life; the constant need for their approval so she can "drift off to sleep", whether they are her's or not. By dedicating this poem to "pretend", she is adding an ambiguous effect. The entire purpose of this poem is to show how little you can mean to someone and how much they can mean to you.
Kaur uses short stanza's to give the poem a flow and to represent how one thinks when they are half asleep: not in complete thoughts. She uses simple concepts to explain more complex ones, like when she uses personification, such as when she says "spoon ladled into spoon". This, again, makes the piece more relatable and easier to understand. It is able to put the reader into the poem, whether they've experienced something similar or not.
Kaur envokes a lot of emotions throughout the poem, but the tone stays the same. She is calm and heartbroken, knowing she is not loved in the same way she loves. She pretends that she is to feel comfortable and to feel whole. She needs to know that she is loved in order to feel like she is okay. This is sadly the reality for a lot of people. It is common to rely on others to make us love ourselves, but as Kaur makes clear in many of her other poems, that is our own jobs.
In this poem, Clint Smith is making a statement on police brutality, more broadly on racism.
When I first read this piece, my heart ached for the childhood Smith who had to learn things quicker than I did. While I was being told to sit with my legs crossed, he was being told to look less like a black man. I cannot explain what it feels like to not be allowed to just be, but Smith comes close.
Clint's able to paint a vibrant picture through his use of both fragments and sentences, his stanza's starting in the middle of a sentence, and speaking with his father's voice. By beginning sentences where another never finished, he is talking directly to you. He is telling a story exactly how he would speak it, making it even more effective and evoking of emotion.
1. I am almost entirely made up of iced coffee from Dunkin' Donuts.
2. Commitment to almost anything scares the heck out of me.
3. I have a 20 year old brother who will never be as funny as me, though he comes close.
4. I drive a 2001 Ford Explorer named Stacy and although she should not be allowed on the road, she get's me to where I need to go.
5. I am aware that my name rhymes. Just want to make that clear.
6. Writing is the only thing I have ever truly felt I was good at.
7. I am not a cat person, but that does not mean that I don't love my cat Nanu so much that it hurts sometimes.
8. I have a slight talking issue but it's not my fault because there is just too much to say.
9. I truly believe that Post Malone is under-appereciated.
10. I have the healthiest relationship with my parents and will forever be grateful to have them in my life.