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I posted this poem some time ago, but Simon explains why we keep coming back to Mary Oliver and her beautiful poetry over and over. For that matter, it is why we come back to poetry or the writings of people like Parker Palmer, Thomas Merton, and Thich Nhat Hanh who incorporate poetry in their prose.

Simon Marsh

MARY OLIVER just “gets it” doesn’t she? That’s why we keep coming back to her, again and again, when we long to make real prayer, when we long to make love. For Wisdom dwells in her – in the longing, that’s to say. And in the poet.

And today, for reasons that are obvious enough – my “soft animal body” having been intensely connected with Matthew’s this morning – Mary’s “Wild Geese” plays in my head and heart, over and over and over. Mary Oliver just gets it. Life, I mean. And love. Mary Oliver just gets it. And gives it – like all the poets do – to us …

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

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About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school . My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. For me, teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

6 responses »

  1. One of my favorites Ivon.


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