The Peace of Wild Things

August 05, 2016

The Peace of Wild Things

by 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 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.


"The Peace of Wild Things" was first published in Openings: Poems by Wendell Berry (1968)

Wendell Berry was born August 5, 1934 in Henry County, Kentucky


Pend Oreille River in Washington



Hooded Mergansers 


Crescent Moon on Edisto Island


Great Blue Heron


  All photos ©Jane Hogan