Mary Oliver Writing Styles in Wild Geese

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Lyric poets attempt to appeal to human emotions and intellect without falling into pathos or confessional poetry. Oliver's soft, sensual tone speaks directly to the reader, as though to create an intimate bond for at least as long as she has the reader's attention. In "Wild Geese," the lines are unrhymed but still melodic in rhythm and repetition. Listen to the rhythm in the three lines that begin with "You": "You do not have to be good," "You do not have to walk," "You only have to let." The same effect is heard in the three lines that begin with "Meanwhile": "Meanwhile the world goes on," "Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles," "Meanwhile the wild geese." Repeating the words lends a quiet, hypnotic quality to the speaker's voice, luring the reader with its gentleness but at the same time stimulating the intellect with their meaning.

Oliver's...

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This section contains 348 words
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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.