I’m not really a poetry guy.
I like Rumi and Rilke and Whitman and Rimbaud. I’ve been told those are poets for beginners, so maybe I’m just a novice at liking poetry.
I don’t see myself ever going pro.
I love to read, but I am not sure I have the emotional depth or nuance needed for poetry.
All that said, I don’t think I’ve ever read anything that hit as close to home as this poem does.
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.
There is something about getting out into the world and realizing that there are things far beyond us that will continue no matter what happens to us.
I like to meditate on the fact that there are things that were here long before me and will be here long after me. I like that there are stars out there burning and planets out there spinning that never have and never will care about me at all. We are not as important as we like to think we are. There is a stability to the world and the universe whether we see it or not.
A lot of the doomsday wailing and gnashing of teeth we hear so much of these days goes out the window when we consider things on a larger scale.
These tragedies and catastrophes are only such when we think we are the center of things or that we are needed for everything to work as it “should”. Nature always finds a way to survive and overcome, and I am not sure it cares if we are there to witness it or not.
This makes me happy.