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To The Unseeable Animal by Wendell Berry

Post Series: Poetry Thursday

Today’s poem celebrates the unknown. I often work with the unseeable and unknowable in the human body. Here, Wendell Berry celebrates it in the forest.

To The Unseeable Animal

by Wendell Berry


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 walked 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.

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