I heard someone on Radio 4 refer to poetry as "anecdotal evidence of the human heart". When science, rationalism and objectivity is the only acceptable truth for many, for me this ignores the truth of our hearts and of our lived experience. It's refreshing to acknowledge our own meaning of things as equally, if not more, valid.
This is one of my favourite poems, it stirs my heart whenever I read it.
by Mary Oliver
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.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
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.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Author & Curator
Nigel Berman is the founder of School of the Wild.