Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Sabbath Poetry: Wendell Berry (XI)

This is the eleventh time I have called forth poetry from one Wendell Berry for a Sunday Sabbath post. There is little else to say to introduce him; feel free to peruse other posts involving him.

The poems below are taken, respectively, from his collections A Part (1980) and The Country of Marriage (1973). I offer them here for their beauty and for their thematic similarities, but also because I am presently working my way through to the completion of all of Berry's poetry, and wanted to share poems that thus happen to be new to me also.

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A Warning to My Reader

By Wendell Berry

Do not think me gentle
because I speak in praise
of gentleness, or elegant
because I honor the grace
that keeps this world. I am
a man crude as any,
gross of speech, intolerant,
stubborn, angry, full
of fits and furies. That I
may have spoken well
at times, is not natural.
A wonder is what it is.

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By Wendell Berry

Don't think of it.
Vanity is absence.
Be here. Here
is the root and stem
on whose life
your life depends.

Be here
like the water
of the hill
that fills each
opening it
comes to, to leave
with a sound
that is a part
of local speech.

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