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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 (born 1934) is an American novelist, poet, essayist, environmental activist, cultural critic, and farmer. He lives in Henry County, Kentucky.
From The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry (Counterpoint, 1999). Included in Vox Populi for educational use only.