January 21, 2013
Reading Responses to a Poem
The poem “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver was a very inspirational poem. Oliver creatively uses imaginative language, emotion, symbolism, and romanticism which led to a very positive and upbeat tone in her poem. Throughout this poem, the one thing that I focused on was the positive and upbeat tones that this poem contained. By her use of symbolic and imaginative language in “Wild Geese”, the reader is opened to Mary Oliver’s underlying meaning behind her literary prose. Furthermore, the calm romantic tone of this thought provoking poem, raises positive emotions to rise up out of the moment, and invites us to further take a look at ourselves. Mary Oliver immediately engages the reader into considering the true meaning behind her choice of words. In lines one through five, the reader can envision being in a very noble place where rules are always followed. Mary Oliver (1986) noted that, “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” I believe that she is saying that you do not have to follow the rules of society by bowing down to others or to repent for being who you are. Oliver used the symbol of an animal, you should do what you love to do and not worry about having to say you are sorry. With that being said, animals never have to apologize for being who God or the Creator made them to be. In lines six and seven, she again uses emotion and romanticism to bring out the feeling of her readers. Oliver (1986) noted that, “Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on”.
She cleverly shows that we all have problems and yet the world will still go on. God or the Creator never promised us an easy life. In lines eight through eleven, Oliver uses the symbols of nature once again to show us...