Throughout the poem, the narrator discusses the geese's journey, and her envy for that journey. She wishes for something that could make her pulse pound in the same way that the geese are compelled to complete their journey. However, the meaning goes beyond the journey. The narrator conveys an intense feeling of loneliness. The narrator is solitary and makes it clear that she has no place to call her home. When one considers the fact that she points out that the geese are coupled in pairs, her loneliness becomes even more apparent.
Throughout the poem, the narrator employs the technique of repeating words. The geese call "each to each, each" and later she seeks a heartland that will "call me, call me." She repeats the idea of a group repetitively calling to one another with the idea of the heartland calling to her. She repeats other words in the poem, "south, south," and "fly, fly," to emphasize both the journey and the destination. The narrator also employs shifting themes. She begins with a clear observation of what the geese are doing, and then translates that observation to a reflection of her own life.
The journey of geese to the south for the winter makes the narrator reflect on her own lack of a heartland.
The poem has two subjects: the journey of Snow Geese and the narrator's own feelings about her lack of a heartland.
The journey of the Snow Geese to the heartland is a statement about belonging in life, both in a social group and in a location, and the narrator uses that statement to reflect upon the loneliness and lack of belonging in her own life.
This poem is not a bad one, but it does not specifically speak to me. I do not recall having the same type of feelings that plague the narrator. I have always felt as if I had a place that called to me, a heartland, as it were. On the other hand, I do not feel compelled to travel there in the same way that the geese feel compelled to travel south for the winter. Therefore, I do not find myself really identifying with the geese or with the narrator.
Faller, J. (Unk). Wanderer. Retrieved January 9, 2012 from Georgia High School