Poetry

Wendell Berry – The Peace of Wild Things

“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.”

– Wendell Berry


Wendell Berry is a poet, essayist and environmentalist who lives on a farm in Kentucky and whose work has particularly inspired – and been influenced by – the environmental movement. Like Herman Hesse and Walt Whitman who sought solace among trees, The Peace of Wild Things looks to nature for release and relief from world-weariness and despair, and suggests a kind of liberation through sensory experience and in reviving our lost relationship with the wilderness.


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
From: New Collected Poems

1 thought on “Wendell Berry – The Peace of Wild Things”

  1. Very nice, we humans are so often attracted to water when searching for peace. Bubbling streams, glass topped ponds, beautiful birds glide past, and the occasional plop of a fish leaping out in fear or fun. At Peace.
    I can dispel anger, into peace of mind. I am watching huge waves breaking on to rocks and nhen walk-away, laughing at my hostile stupidity.

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