What is the truth of wildness? What is the strange character of our encounter with those things and places that we call ''wild''? Is there a way to think wildness beyond the contradictions of the American relationship to wild places? This book attempts an answer. Drawing principally on the work of French phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty, as well as David Abram and the American poet and essayist Gary Snyder, it uses phenomenological description to bring the experience of encounters with wildness to language, to let them speak of what they are for us. The result is a thought of the wild as that which is at once radically other and intimately bound to us. The play of this difference seems to be close to the root of the fascination that some people evince in encounters with the wild. The conclusion is that encounters with what is wild are profoundly ethical, teaching us that we are deeply tied to that which seems most different.