Wild Geese Essay

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Perkins teaches American and British literature and film. In this essay, Perkins examines Oliver's call for a sympathetic union between the self and nature.

Commenting on Mary Oliver's body of work, Janet McNew writes in an article for Contemporary Literature, "at its most intense, her poetry aims to peer beneath the constructions of culture and reason that burden us with an alienated consciousness to celebrate the primitive, mystical visions" of the natural world. In "Wild Geese," Oliver explores how we have been oppressed by these "constructions of culture" and offers us fruitful, fresh alternatives. In her clear and eloquent voice, she privileges the power of the imagination to help us break free from the confines of society and so be able to reconnect with our more elemental, natural selves.

The poem begins with the speaker urging an unnamed listener to separate him or herself from social notions of...

(read more from the Critical Essay #2 section)

This section contains 1,297 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Wild Geese Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Wild Geese from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.