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.
bio from: http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/wendell_berry
Farmer, Essayist, Conservationist, Novelist, Teacher, Poet, 1934 -
"The most alarming sign of the state of our society now is that our leaders have the courage to sacrifice the lives of young people in war but have not the courage to tell us that we must be less greedy and wasteful."
Wendell Berry was born in Newcastle, Kentucky. He continues to farm the land along the Kentucky River that his family has worked for two centuries. A graduate of the University of Kentucky. Berry has taught English and written more than thirty books of poetry and essays as well as novels.
Although he has been called the prophet of rural America, his life and thought have meaning for people in cities and suburbs as well as for farmers like himself. He sees the connection between the natural environment and the whole range of human activity. Ultimately his vision is of community in the largest possible sense. Berry sees and proclaims that humankind must learn to live in harmony with nature or perish.
Wendell Berry has written widely, including The Unsettling of America (1977) and an essay, The Failure of War (1999). In the latter he asks: "How many deaths of other people's children are we willing to accept in order that we may be free, affluent and (supposedly) at peace? To that question I answer: None . . . Don't kill any children for my benefit." His essay, Thoughts in the Presence of Fear, relates the events of September 11, 2001 to crucial questions about the global economy, the purpose of education and the necessity for active peacemaking. Citizenship Papers, a collection of his essays, is scheduled for publication in the fall of 2003.