Thursday, September 8, 2011

"Farming: A Handbook," by Wendell Berry

This week I got my brand new copy of Wendell Berry's Farming: A Handbook, a re-released collection of poems first published in 1971. It was from this book that Berry's famed Mad Farmer first crawled from the pages and began to preach megaphonically the gospel of the land.

Every single poem the man writes seems to speak directly to how I feel. Observe:

The Wish to Be Generous
All that I serve will die, all my delights,
the flesh kindled from my flesh, garden and field,
the silent lilies standing in the woods,
the woods and the hill and the whole earth, all
will burn in man's evil, or dwindle
in its own age. Let the world bring on me
the sleep of darkness without stars, so I may know
my little light taken from me into the see
of the beginning and the end, so I may bow
to mystery, and take my stand on the earth
like a tree in a field, passing without haste
or regret toward what will be, my life
a patient willing descent into the grass.

This, my friends, is poetic nourishment. Thought for food.

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