Wendell Berry’s Wild Geese


Recently I posted Mary Oliver’s “Wild Geese.” Today in the mail I received Wendell Berry’s New and Collected Poems, within which I came across his poem, “The Wild Geese,” originally published in 1973 as part of The Country of Marriage.

So, here’s his take.

“The Wild Geese”

Horseback on Sunday morning,
harvest over, we taste persimmon
and wild grape, sharp sweet
of summer’s end. In time’s maze
over the fall fields, we name names
that went west from here, names
that rest on graves. We open
a persimmon seed to find the tree
that stands in promise,
pale, in the seed’s marrow.
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes.
Abandon, as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear,
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray,
not for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in the heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.

Wendell Berry, New and Collected Poems


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