Reading Response to a Poem Essay
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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 that life is still going on no matter what problems we face. Oliver (1986) noted that, Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers.
She uses the emotional state of the reader along with the quiet romantic tones to show that although you will go through trying times in life, it will not last forever. She uses the symbolism of the wild geese, in lines twelve and thirteen, to show that we will always be guided to our destinations. All we have to do is allow our natural instincts to guide us just as the wild geese are guided home by natural instinct. In lines fourteen through fifteen, Oliver uses emotion and imaginative language to let the reader know that no matter who you are, or how lonely you feel, the world is for you to design it. The reader needs to use his/ her imagination. If you can dream it, you can achieve it.
She again uses the symbolic nature of the wild geese to illustrate this concept. Last but not least, in lines sixteen through eighteen, she again uses imaginative language to challenge the reader to not conform to the world. The reader can use their imagination to break free from their conventional life styles and to join their place in the family of nature. In nature, there are no rules, but the ones that you create, where you are free to be as the “Wild Geese”. In conclusion, I found the poem “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver extremely inspirational.
She creatively uses imaginative language, emotion, symbolism, and romanticism to convey a very positive and upbeat tone in her poem. Throughout this poem, the one thing that I continuously focused on was the positive and upbeat tones that this poem contains. This is a very inspirational and uplifting poem. It encourages us to go beyond the plan that is laid out for us by society and lends us permission to be who we were destined to be. Throughout this entire poem, we are given permission to shake off all of life’s discretions, throw caution to the wind, and be as wild and free as nature intended us to be.
Clugston, W. R. (2010). Journey into literature. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.