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The Kid Should See This

The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry, animated

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In this animation by Charlotte Ager and Katy Wang, the poet and novelist Wendell Berry narrates his poem The Peace of Wild Things, a Walden-esque ode to the wisdom, calming influence, and restorative qualities of the natural world. The written piece was first published in Openings: Poems (1968).

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.

The Peace of Wild Things
Berry is well-known for centering his days around nature, farming, family, and community while staunchly avoiding many technologies and conveniences of modern life.

The animation, created in 2020, is one in a series of poetry-driven videos created for On Being, a nonprofit media project that’s exploring “the intersection of spiritual inquiry, science, social healing, community, poetry, and the arts.”

Walking into the woods...
free with the birds
The Peace of Wild Things

TEACHING RESOURCE from The Center for Civic Reflection:
Discussion Questions: The Peace of Wild Things

Previously from Katy Wang: Forests. Plus:
• The Importance of Staring Out Of The Window
• Square Roots, an animated short about information overload
• Japan’s 72 Micro-Seasons of Impermanence
• The Genius of Play: Vital benefits of playtime in 9 animations
• How can nature be used as a tool to restore ecosystems?

via Aeon.

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