[Here is my first post entitled “Poetry Wednesday.” This is a pretty new blog to begin with, but this particular idea is fresh-outta-the-oven-new. I like the medium of poetry. I once heard someone describe dance as a pure art since dancers rarely get famous and the peak of a dancer’s life is so short (they’re bodies literally cannot handle the grind forever). So you know there’s something embedded in the soul that wills them to make art regardless of notoriety or even longevity. Similarly, I think of poetry as the purest form of writing because poets are so dedicated to their craft. They can’t NOT write poetry. You know this because poets, unlike serial novelists (potentially), can have no grand illusions of wealth/fame. It’s not that kind of field. But it’s important. I thought Wednesdays would be good since poetry has the power to lift us out of our stations and our weeks momentarily, to connect us with the heavens or to remind us of the hells… or all the in-betweens. That’s it for now.]
“The Peace of Wild Things” by Wendell Berry from The Selected Poems of 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.
I was first introduced to Wendell Berry by a friend. I haven’t ever sat down and simply read through his collection. I’ve probably read about thirty of his poems, though. I pick them up when I need something. I often find the peace of his writing, the nature-ness of it, is a balm and a quite spot. I want to share a diversity of poetry, but this is one of my favorite poems, a classic, and I knew it would fit rather well as the first on this blog.
A band whose music I enjoy titled an album after this very poem, listing Berry as an influence. They are called Paper Route, and I’ve added a song from that album which I think captures some of the essence of Berry’s writing.