"Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history." ~Plato

For starters, the title of the poem is “Wild Geese” so you assume it’s about geese, or comparing the reader to a bird. 
 
In life, we come into situations with a set of expectations, as well, based on cues from the environment and our own past experiences. 
 
Reading “Wild Geese” you are immediately challenged to shift your perception of yourself. 
 
“You do not have to be good”, sounds like blasphemy, because as humans we are taught by our raising and society itself that we must be good. 
 
We believe that we have to feel terrible for the rest of our lives for our mistakes, and this poem tells us that we don’t have to. 
 
In the line, “tell me despair, yours, and I will tell you mine” the writer wants the reader to open up to her, connecting through their pain.
 
The speaker addresses the reader directly and creates a picture, to take said reader out of whatever situation they are in, and into the wide world around us all. 
 
“Meanwhile the world…meanwhile the sun…meanwhile the wild geese”, makes the reality outside of our personal minds clear. 
 
At the end of the poem, the speaker addresses the fact that the world is a big place, inviting the reader to experience something new.
 
Lyric poems can shift a reader’s perspective because the words are the speaker’s private thoughts. 
 
When you’re in someone’s head, you see from their eyes rather than your own. 
 
No two people think exactly the same way, even if their brains appear equal in health and functioning. 
 
Even siblings do not experience the same events, emotions, nor chose the same behaviors. 
 
The mind can be a very intimate place, revealing things the individual may not have noticed until someone else had a look. 
 
The author, Mary Oliver, shows that she sees the beauty in both nature and self-love. 
 
Perhaps she herself has experienced regret and self-loathing, and because of her experiences is able to speak authentically and reach the reader.
 
When it comes to the value of seeing the world differently, I believe that there is significance in new insight. 
 
I am an oddball, who’s constantly learning life lessons and feeling invigorated by the process. 
 
However, like most people, I can fixate on a mindset, especially when I’m stressed. 
 
I feel that I’m not doing enough, or I feel overwhelmed because I know I’m doing too much. 
 
Stepping outside of myself, and seeing how someone who is not me interprets events is extremely beneficial when learning to let go of perfectionism and unrealistic standards.
 
Poetry is special because with every word, diction, metaphor, punctuation, line length, and all other figures of speech the author is able to convey his/her/their message, and the reader can interpret it in myriad ways. 
 
Oliver chooses to end the poem with the line ,“in the family of things”, expressing being a part of something larger and its importance. 
 
Someone out there needed to hear this message, and through poetry they heard it.
 
I hope that with time I will look back on the poetry I’ve read for this English class and describe the imagery and feelings evoked within me in more descriptive ways. 
 
It will be interesting to compare this blip I wrote for an assignment to a piece I write in my free
time.
 
 
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Hi there, I just wanted to add that these “Reader’s Notebook” posts are unedited versions of what I submitted to my English professor for my final project. 
 
Honestly, I am pretty hard on myself – especially when it comes to writing – so having a record of what I deemed to “acceptable” work will help me hold myself accountable. In this way, I will be able to truly track my progress as a writer.

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