Peace of Wild Things, The


Wendell Berry (b.1934)

Gentleman farmer and poet Wendell Berry writes in many genres and has been described as a modern day Thoreau. This setting of Berry's "The Peace of Wild Things" often bring singers to tears upon first reading; as it connects the singer to our animal nature, stills our minds, slows our breath and invites respite from despair.



Audio Credits: 

SSAA: Manitou Singers, Sigrid Johnson conductor; SATB University of Delaware Concert Choir, Dr. Paul Head, Director



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.