Thursday, April 30, 2009

SB Favorite Author: Wendell Berry

The below quote from Wendell Berry of Kentucky hung on my refrigerator from right after the start of the Iraq War and all through the real Axis of Evil (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld). I found it strangely comforting. I was not alone.

"To be sane in a mad time is bad for the brain, worse for the heart."

I consider Wendell Berry the Emerson of our time. Mr. Berry is a gentleman farmer, conservationist, and a religious poet in the best possible sense. And I think sense is the key word. Wendell Berry is, of all things, a sensible man.

Here is a short poem that Mr. Berry wrote that comforts me when I worry about the world as it is today, with the economy and the threat of swine flu looming. This poem also hangs on my refrigerator.

Bless you, Mr. Berry, for your uncommon decency and good sense in a time when a lot of our society's elders weren't so decent or wise.

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


nan said...

Great poem SB. I think I'm going to print it out and do the same. And thanks for yet another suggestion of an author/book I need to check out.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Thanks for reading, Nan. I think you will really like Wendell's work. Enjoy!

Love ya,