Mary Oliver - Wild Geese

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English – Internal Assessment
Things to look for: themes, sound, imagery, dichotomy, structure, figures of speech, mood, rhythm Imagery:
You do not have to be good. - 7
The narrator is already talking to the reader from the very first line of them poem, this sets off the tone in a critiquing, yet gentle, manner, it gets the reader to realize that the poem is going to be focusing on something ‘you,’ or they, have done. While saying that you do not have to be good makes the reader relax, they don’t have to feel threatened and uptight. You do not have to walk on your knees – 9

For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. - 12
You only have to let the soft animal of your body - 15
love what it loves. – 4
You don’t have to be an amazing person.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. - 13 Meanwhile the world goes on. 6
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain - 12
are moving across the landscapes, - 8
over the prairies and the deep trees, - 9
the mountains and the rivers. - 7
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, - 11
are heading home again. – 6
While you lose hope the world keeps on going, the wild geese keep on flying.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, - 11
the world offers itself to your imagination, - 13
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting - 12
over and over announcing your place - 10
in the family of things. – 7
No matter how lost you may feel, nature is there for you, reminding you that your life can be as harsh and exciting as that of a wild geese’s.

Themes:
-Dichotomy of man and nature
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