A Sunday Poem – Wendell Berry on Human Chaos

I’m still making my way through This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems. I’ve hit a section in which most of the poems make me stop and relate them to today’s world. I had a hard time deciding which to share today, but this one seemed like a nice escape from the human chaos we’re experiencing right now.

Awaked from the persistent dream
Of human chaos come again,
I walk in the lamed woods, the light
Brought down by felling of great trees,
And in the rising thicket where
The shadow of old grace returns.
Leaf shadows tremble on light leaves,
A lighter foliage of song
Among them, the wind’s thousand tongues,
And songs of birds. Beams reaching down
Into the shadow swirl and swarm
With gleaming traffic of the air,
Bright grains of generative dust
And winged intelligences. Among
High maple leaves a spider’s wheel
Shines, works of finest making made
Touchingly in the dark.
The dark
Again has prayed the light to come
Down into it, to animate
And move it in its heaviness.

So what was still and dark wakes up,
Becomes intelligent, moves, names
Itself by hunger and by kind,
Walks, swims, flies, cries, calls, speaks, or sings.
We all are praising, praying to
The light we are, but cannot know.

Friends, it seems like the news is full of stories that are being called once in a lifetime events. It seems like we’re having more 100 year storms than is probable. Hurricanes, fires, deadly virus, ugly political climate – we are in the midst of chaos. We can find quiet and stillness in our own ways. I hope you capture a few moments of peace today.

8 thoughts on “A Sunday Poem – Wendell Berry on Human Chaos

Add yours

  1. I think sitting down at the computer this morning and finding this post is exactly what I need today and I am printing this poem out to carry me through the week! Thank you for this, Katie!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This set such a lovely tone for my day — thank you. I’ve been noticing the same thing, that we seem to be in the midst of so many “once in a lifetime” events, and it’s distressing. But nature doesn’t seem to notice and carries on with its seasonal activities.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Sarah! More than ever, we really need to set our focus on things that recharge us rather than so much of what’s draining us. I hope this week treats you well!

      Like

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