Poem: The Peace of Wild Things

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 may 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.

– Wendell Berry





Wendell Berry is an American novelist, poet, environmental activist, cultural critic, and farmer. A prolific author, he has written over fifty books of fiction, short stories, poems, and essays. He is a recipient of The National Humanities Medal and a 2013 Fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Copyright 1999 by Wendell Berry from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry.

Reprinted by permission of Counterpoint.

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