Limitations In Mary Oliver's Wild Geese

Good Essays
In modern society, there are an endless number of situations and outcomes that any one person could face in their lives. How this roadblock is dealt with or the perspective it is looked at with, decides the path on which the person will maintain and follow. The poem, Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver is powerful because the author uses strong imagery to create a more personal experience for readers while focusing on the human tendency of responding to limitations. Through the narrator in Wild Geese, Oliver presents the idea that people face limitations everyday, yet they should not hold themselves accountable and that these should not restrict how a person experiences everything around them or views their self-worth.

On a day-to-day basis, the average
…show more content…
At the beginning of the poem, “You do not have to be good” is used to not only speak to the narrator but set the course for which readers will follow. “You do not have to walk on your knees… repenting.” is another example of the mesmerizing words Oliver uses to aid in the reader’s emotional connection to the narrator. The poem begins with these lines to represent how a person dealing with limitations may feel and respond to these. Still, these thoughts are quickly disregarded by the narrator and readers become informed that such feelings of self-blame are petty and unnecessary. The accountability that a person may feel as a result of limitations becoming deciding factors for the future are not valid reasons to have self-blame. “You only have to let… your body love what it loves.” is a great example from the poem of how any limitations are not limitations at all if a person is doing something they love without second thoughts or regrets. Nearing the end of the poem the lines, “over and over announcing your place; in the family of things.” responds to the note that anything your body loves is something to be proud of. Allowing limitations to guide and control one’s life are direct paths to having regrets for not doing what is truly wanted or
Get Access