Wordsworth’s Poetry

It’s worthwhile to link Oliver to William Wordsworth, who is an important predecessor in the lineage of nature poetry. His reflections on the natural world are less earnest than hers, but her work still owes a debt to him and other British Romantic poets.

Whitman’s Poetry

Walt Whitman represents another key forebear for Oliver. Although his poetry is much wilder and more experimental than a poem like “Wild Geese,” his concern with nature and how to situate the self in relationship to it draws them together.

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

As someone whom we now associate with the American Transcendentalist movement, Thoreau is another important figure to consider in relationship to Oliver. His extended account of the year he spent near Walden Pond makes him a kindred spirit to the speaker of “Wild Geese.”