Today is Poem in Your Pocket Day

Today, Thursday, April 29, is national Poem in Your Pocket Day. Select a poem you love, or write your own, and carry it with you to share with others all day. Here's one for inspiration.


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.


From The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry, Counterpoint, 1998

Filed under: Events


73 reviewer rep
303 forum posts
April 29, 2010 at 8:59 a.m. (EDT)

Had a prof who was nuts about Wendell Berry. Excellent writer, although a bit melancholy for me at times.

A classic poem that any outdoors-person should not be without. From the preface in Nessmuk's "Woodcraft":

For brick and mortar breed filth and crime,
With a pulse of evil that throbs and beats;
And men are withered before their prime
By the curse paved in with the lanes and streets.

And lungs are poisoned and shoulders bowed,
In the smothering reek of mill and mine;
And death stalks in on the struggling crowd—
But he shuns the shadow of oak and pine.

244 reviewer rep
5,249 forum posts
April 29, 2010 at 10:53 a.m. (EDT)

One of my all time favorite poems is by Robert Service who also wrote story's like Call of the Wild and White Fang and stories and other poems about the Gold Panning days of Alaska and the Yukon.

There's a Race of Men that don't fit in:

There's a race of men that don't fit in,
A race that can't stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and they rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain's crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don't know how to rest.

If they just went straight they might go far;
They are strong and brave and true;
But they're always tired of the things that are,
And they want the strange and new.
They say: "Could I find my proper groove,
What a deep mark I would make!"
So they chop and change, and each fresh move
Is only a fresh mistake.

And each forgets, as he strips and runs
With a brilliant, fitful pace,
It's the steady, quiet, plodding ones
Who win in the lifelong race.
And each forgets that his youth has fled,
Forgets that his prime is past,
Till he stands one day, with a hope that's dead,
In the glare of the truth at last.

He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;
He has just done things by half.
Life's been a jolly good joke on him,
And now is the time to laugh.
Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
He was never meant to win;
He's a rolling stone, and it's bred in the bone;
He's a man who won't fit in.

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