This poem has been a favorite of mine for years. Wendell Berry is a remarkable soul. He certainly ranks among our finest poets and writers. Reading his work is like walking along a forest path with your eyes and mind wide open. Let him be a companion to you; I hope this poem awakes the "unseeable animal" within.


To the Unseeable Animal

My Daughter: "I hope there's an animal
Somewhere that nobody has ever seen.
And I hope nobody ever sees it."

Being, whose flesh dissolves
at our glance, knower
of the secret sums and measures,
you are always here,
dwelling in the oldest sycamores,
visiting the faithful springs
when they are dark and the foxes
have crept to their edges.
I have come upon pools
in streams, places overgrown
with the woods' shadow,
where I knew you had rested,
watching the little fish
hang still in the flow;
as I approached they seemed
particles of your clear mind
disappearing among the rocks.
I have waked deep in the woods
in the early morning, sure
that while I slept
your gaze passed over me.
That we do not know you
is your perfection
and our hope. The darkness
keeps us near you.

Wendell Berry


I did however used to think, you know,
in the woods walking,
and as a kid playing the the woods,
that there was a kind of immanence there -
that woods, and places of that order,
had a sense, a kind of presence, that you could feel;
that there was something peculiarly, physically present,
a feeling of place almost conscious ... like God.
It evoked that.
-  Robert Creely

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