Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Sabbath Poetry: Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry's poetry is always comforting, always a sharp breath of life lived fully, reflectively, holistically. These two poems represent to me Berry's unquenchable hope and joy (and humor) in the midst of what might be called the "losing fights" of life.

My own poem is starkly different than either of Berry's, but thematically is a similar kind of expression of hope in the midst of what feels like a losing fight.

- - - - - - -

February 2, 1968

By Wendell Berry

In the dark of the moon, in flying snow, in the dead of winter,
war spreading, families dying, the world in danger,
I walk the rocky hillside, sowing clover.

- - - - - - -

The Mad Farmer's Love Song

By Wendell Berry

O when the world's at peace
and every man is free
then will I go down unto my love.

O and I may go down
several times before that.

- - - - - - -

Beastly Deliverance

My sin is rabid and hungry
and enveloping like a disease,
like a snarling animal already
pounced and containing me within
its jowls. I am swallowed and
chewed and ingested like an
afternoon meal; I bounce as
the beast bounds off to
feast on only more prey,
only more willing and helpless sinners,
only more sinsick, hobbled junkies.

But you are Leviathan—you are
Behemoth—you are the good
monster bigger and stronger and
nastier than even this mammoth
carrying me around in its belly.
You slash and tear and claw me out,
and I am delivered. O frightful
and dangerous God like a prowling
lion, roar in your mighty mandibles,
stalk your prey in your power,
and carry me away, carry me home,
in the safe sabbath of your jaws.

No comments:

Post a Comment