Wild Geese By Oliver Essay

1299 words - 5 pages

“Wild Geese” is very different from many poems written. Oliver’s personal life, the free form of the poem along with the first line, “You do not have to be good,” and the imagery of nature contributes to Oliver’s intent to convince the audience that to be part of the world, a person does not need to aspire to civilization’s standards.
Oliver would write this poem because she did not conform to societies wishes. According to the Poetry Foundation, Oliver has never actually received a degree despite attending The Ohio State University and Vassar College. By not completing college, she had stepped out of the normal procedure of American life of growing up, going to college, then working. She also “met her long-time partner, Molly Malone Cook” while helping organize Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poetry. This choice is not a normal decision for people to make; however, she is still successful and has been presented many awards, including Honorary Doctorates (Beacon). Despite living the way she wants to, Oliver still manages to have success and happiness.
Furthermore, Oliver clearly demonstrates the point that you do not have to follow society’s rules to be happy in her poem, “Wild Geese,” by using free form structure for a poem that does not rhyme. Many poems rhyme. By not rhyming or following a set structure, Oliver demonstrates that the poem does not need to follow the normal requirements for a poem to have meaning. The poem begins with a bold statement: “You do not have to be good.” The first line does not have a rhythm or pattern, which further demonstrates the further delineation from the status quo of poetry in this poem. The difference in structure between this poem and many others helps to set the poem and its message apart from the others.
Additionally, the imagery of nature also contributes to the argument that you do not need to try to live up to society’s standards to be happy. Immediately following the first statement, Oliver prompts that “You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.” The senseless wandering in a desert in harsh conditions is similar to the biblical story of Moses leading the Isrealites through the desert before reaching the Promised Land. By writing that the reader does not have to wander as a punishment leads into line four and five, where the speaker asserts that instead of being good, “You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” Instead of following what other’s want, the speaker proclaims that the only real necessity is to follow what your natural instincts, you animal, want. The speaker also declares inn lines six and seven that while you are talking about your despair, “the world goes on,” which proves that human traits of complaining and listening to others do not bring you closer to nature. In fact, the world continues as if you had not done anything at all. The poem then contrasts inert objects such as “the sun,” “the prairies,” and “the...

Find Another Essay On Wild Geese by Oliver

The importance of the comparison between characters and animals in "Wild Geese"

696 words - 3 pages Throughout the novel "Wild Geese", written by Martha Ostenso, there are many instances were a comparison is made between the characters and animals such as wild geese. One of these comparisons can be found on page forty-nine . Wild geese are used to describe the emotions and actions of the characters. Mark Jordan is one of the characters who is described as being a wild goose. This passage is important because it gives the reader some meaning as

Before I Fall: Sam Kingston Essay

1185 words - 5 pages was never testy to Sam. Therefore, when Sam stayed home, she agreed to let Izzy stay home with her. While spending the day together, Sam did whatever Izzy wanted to do. Her choice was to visit Goose Point, a rock where geese would always fly. Even though this was a picayune to Sam; nevertheless, she went anyway. While there Sam wanted to say very kind words to Izzy that she did not have the heart to say before. Sam did not want to cry in front of

Are Animals Being Hunted to Extinction?

741 words - 3 pages control the population of some species, to protect livestock, or to save money. Despite what is believed by many, with proper control, animals will not be hunted into extinction. Without some sort of wildlife management, our wild animal populations could become out of control. Works Cited Barkham, Patrick. "The Lions Bred for Slaughter." The Guardian. 03 June 2013: p. 10. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 15 Nov. 2013. Eilperin, Juliet. "Once

Falling Victim to the Past - A persuassive essay based on Martha Ostenso's "Wild Geese".

6326 words - 25 pages In the novel, Wild Geese, by Martha Ostenso, the members of the Gare household struggle immensely under the oppressiveness of Caleb Gare, the father and Amelia Gare, the mother. The children of the Gare family face many obstacles, such as lack of voice, lack of control, and limited possibilities. Although Ostenso's Wild Geese is an award winning piece of literature, much of the novels significance and power has been lost over time. The control

Personal Response to Literature- Passage from "Wild Geese", Responding to Jude's need to escape.

645 words - 3 pages Minor Assignment: Personal Response to LiteraturePassage from, Wild GeeseIn the passage from Wild Geese, two ideas convey to me about Jude's need to escape. The first idea is that Jude feels smothered by her daily surroundings, and second is that Jude is living two separate lives.Jude's farm life and family ultimately suffocate her. Jude's father, Caleb is controlling and overbearing. Caleb is constantly seeking control over Judith by pushing


1536 words - 6 pages near the lake were: crabgrass, weeds/shrubs, algae, lily pads, wild daisies, fungi, clovers, cattails, and ferns. Other animal/insect species seen around the lake were bees, a sparrow, a water snake, ducks and geese. In total, 18 living organisms were seen (11 plant species and 7 animal/insect species). The air temperature within the surrounding area was approximately 13�C The sunlight and wind were both moderate

William Shakespeare Life and Accomplishments

1338 words - 5 pages and movies were produced to further explain the tragic situation of two star-crossed lovers. Some include “Titanic”, and “The Great Gatsby”. Finally, one of Shakespeare’s more complex sayings is, “Wild goose chase”- (Romeo and Juliet Act 2 Scene 4). The ingenious writer implies ‘a hopeless quest’. Running after wild geese is hopeless thus Shakespeare links the two ideas as one.This saying is used as a title to a modern book “Wild Goose Chase

Peregrine falcon

2445 words - 10 pages today *29*; recently, cliffs were most important nesting sites *02,03,19*; essential is a commanding view of surrounding area, migratory peregrines are most abundant along Lk. Michigan shores *06*. Habitat types used by migrating peregrines are essentially waterways, wetland areas such as swamps and marshes, open fields and woodland types found along edges of these areas. The best areas have combinations of these habitat types *34*. Peregrines

Impact of West Nile Virus on Humans

1094 words - 4 pages by antibiotics. People who display serious symptoms are given supportive treatment, which may include intravenous fluids and respiratory support until they recover (CDC, 2004). Animals found in the wild are also susceptible to West Nile virus. It is fatal to up to 285 species of birds, which are the reservoirs that the virus normally lives in (CDC, 2005). Members of the avian family Corvidae, which includes crows, ravens, magpies, and jays (CDC

Perserving the Classics in the Portable Phonography by Walter Van Tilburg Clark

1146 words - 5 pages openness. The characters probably feel vulnerable to losing their civilization when the narrator says: “Under the wuthering arch of the high wind a V of wild geese fled south. The rush of their pinions sounded briefly, and the fain plaintive notes of their expeditionary talk. Then they left a still greater vacancy.” (Clark 140) In the quote, it states that the geese when they flew south, made the prairie seem vacant. (Clark 140) This shows that

OSU Wrestling

703 words - 3 pages No other school in the nation has a stronger tradition and more successful program, than Oklahoma State Wrestling does. Also there is no other school in the Nation who has won as many championships as the OSU wrestling team. Oklahoma State has had many coaches, but Coach John Smith has made a better program with tradition, training, and a championship legacy that makes all the fans and students go wild. John Smith is Oklahoma States All Time

Similar Essays

The Apprenticeship Of Wild Geese A Comparative Essay Between "The Appreticeship Of Duddy Kravitz" By Mordecai Richler And "Wild Geese" By Martha Ostenso

830 words - 3 pages abusive to those close to them. Wild Geese and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz both demonstrate feeble characters who cannot stand up for what they want or believe. Starting with Amelia who is pushed around throughout this novel by Caleb. She allows Caleb to work her into the ground. She finally stands up for herself at the end after she is beaten senseless by Caleb's whip. "For the first time in her life Amelia was not afraid of Caleb

The Theme Of Mans Closness To Land In "Wild Geese" By Martha Ostenso

777 words - 3 pages Throughout history men have always shown great love for their land and have always worked hard to ensure that their field produces enough food to support their family and generate a profit. In the novel "Wild Geese", by Martha Ostenso, the theme of man's closeness to land is one of the predominate ones and Caleb Gare is faced with the challenge of producing a crop that grows enough food to support his family and at the same time create a profit

Anti Feminism A Fowl Movement Is An Essay Concerning The Novel "Wild Geese" By Martha Ostenso Taking The Anti Feminist Theme Into Consideration

581 words - 2 pages Wild Geese, the classic Canadian novel by Martha Ostenso, is written from a very non-feminist point of view. To begin with, it can be seen throughout the novel that Caleb Gare doesn't give Lind Archer the time of day. Furthermore, it is the women on the farm who work the hardest and are treated the worst. Finally, it is Amelia who takes the blame for anything bad that occurs. The book Wild Geese shows us a narrow-minded view of the female

Symbolic Connection Essay

1324 words - 5 pages gathered vast population incapable of free survival” (Jeffers 714). Greed led us to our demise. We were also being pulled into a net. The moral of this poem “was simply that American and Western civilization was dying from its own rapacity” (Pratt). “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver portrays “wild geese, high in the clean blue air, heading home again” (Oliver 722). The wild geese symbolize acceptance, self-knowledge, and adjustment. In the beginning