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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Cherishing the Earth

“To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.”  Wendell Berry
I wrote earlier this week about Kentuckian Wendell Berry and his many contributions to literature and the environment.  Critics and scholars have acknowledged Berry as a master of many literary genres, but whether he is writing poetry, fiction, or essays, his message is essentially the same: humans must learn to live in harmony with the natural rhythms of the earth or perish.
         It was as a poet that Berry first gained literary recognition. In volumes such as The Broken Ground and The Country of Marriage, he wrote of the countryside, the turning of the seasons, the routines of the farm, the life of the family, and the spiritual aspects of the natural world.  For a thoughtful and thought-provoking time of reading and reflection, pick up a copy of his Collected Poems: 1957-1982.   
     For Saturday’s Poem here is Berry’s,

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair 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 for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

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