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The Peace of Wild Things
Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives might be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief.  I come into the presence  of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.


From The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry (Counterpoint, 1999),
Used here with  the author's permission.


Wendell Berry is an American writer. The author of more than 40 works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, he has been a farmer and environmental activist throughout his adult life, with stints in between as a university professor. The recipient of numerous awards, including Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences fellowships, Wendell is the first living writer to be inducted into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame. He lives and works with his wife on a farm in Port Royal, Kentucky. Learn more about Wendell's impact and interests at




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Well, now I have to buy his book, lol. Really, I will. Wish I could study under your tutelage.
Posted 11/11/2016 08:47 AM
Thanks for revealing to us a new way to live.
Posted 11/08/2016 02:34 PM
Perfect choice, Jayne. Berry is SO wise. we should all take a lesson...
Posted 11/08/2016 12:45 PM
One of the great nature poems of all time.
Posted 11/08/2016 10:42 AM
A Blessing for today!
Posted 11/08/2016 10:00 AM
I may read this several times today.
Posted 11/08/2016 09:25 AM
I love this. I would do just that if I could...beautiful and wise.
Posted 11/08/2016 09:14 AM
Imagine the world if everyone took a little time with the wood drake and the heron ...
Posted 11/08/2016 07:03 AM
'who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.' what a line. What a poem!
Posted 11/08/2016 06:09 AM
Beautiful poem. Waves lapping gently are also peaceful. Nature can be a wonderful soother. I'm not American, but this election makes me afraid for the outcome and for the world. Thank you Wendell and Jayne.
Posted 11/08/2016 05:37 AM
Day-blind stars! What a lovely thought.
Posted 11/08/2016 03:09 AM

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