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Best Famous Wendell Berry Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Wendell Berry poems. This is a select list of the best famous Wendell Berry poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Wendell Berry poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Wendell Berry poems.

Search for the best famous Wendell Berry poems, articles about Wendell Berry poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Wendell Berry poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

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Written by Wendell Berry | Create an image from this poem

Do not be ashamed

 You will be walking some night
in the comfortable dark of your yard
and suddenly a great light will shine
round about you, and behind you
will be a wall you never saw before.
It will be clear to you suddenly that you were about to escape, and that you are guilty: you misread the complex instructions, you are not a member, you lost your card or never had one.
And you will know that they have been there all along, their eyes on your letters and books, their hands in your pockets, their ears wired to your bed.
Though you have done nothing shameful, they will want you to be ashamed.
They will want you to kneel and weep and say you should have been like them.
And once you say you are ashamed, reading the page they hold out to you, then such light as you have made in your history will leave you.
They will no longer need to pursue you.
You will pursue them, begging forgiveness.
They will not forgive you.
There is no power against them.
It is only candor that is aloof from them, only an inward clarity, unashamed, that they cannot reach.
Be ready.
When their light has picked you out and their questions are asked, say to them: "I am not ashamed.
" A sure horizon will come around you.
The heron will begin his evening flight from the hilltop.
Written by Wendell Berry | Create an image from this poem

The Real Work

 It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come our real work,

and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.
Written by Wendell Berry | Create an image from this poem

What We Need Is Here

 Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes.
Abandon, as in love or sleep, holds them to their way, clear in the ancient faith: what we need is here.
And we pray, not for new earth or heaven, but to be quiet in heart, and in eye, clear.
What we need is here.
Written by Wendell Berry | Create an image from this poem

For The Future

 Planting trees early in spring,
we make a place for birds to sing
in time to come.
How do we know? They are singing here now.
There is no other guarantee that singing will ever be.
Written by Wendell Berry | Create an image from this poem

Like The Water

 Like the water
of a deep stream,
love is always too much.
We did not make it.
Though we drink till we burst, we cannot have it all, or want it all.
In its abundance it survives our thirst.
In the evening we come down to the shore to drink our fill, and sleep, while it flows through the regions of the dark.
It does not hold us, except we keep returning to its rich waters thirsty.
We enter, willing to die, into the commonwealth of its joy.
Written by Wendell Berry | Create an image from this poem

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

 Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay.
Want more of everything ready-made.
Be afraid to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery any more.
Your mind will be punched in a card and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something they will call you.
When they want you to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something that won't compute.
Love the Lord.
Love the world.
Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace the flag.
Hope to live in that free republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot understand.
Praise ignorance, for what man has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium.
Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant, that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit.
Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees every thousand years.
Listen to carrion -- put your ear close, and hear the faint chattering of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world.
Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable.
Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy a woman satisfied to bear a child? Will this disturb the sleep of a woman near to giving birth? Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade.
Rest your head in her lap.
Swear allegiance to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos can predict the motions of your mind, lose it.
Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn't go.
Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.
Written by Wendell Berry | Create an image from this poem

The peace of wild things

 When despair grows in me
and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.
I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting for their light.
For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Written by Wendell Berry | Create an image from this poem

The Country Of Marriage

 I.
I dream of you walking at night along the streams of the country of my birth, warm blooms and the nightsongs of birds opening around you as you walk.
You are holding in your body the dark seed of my sleep.
II.
This comes after silence.
Was it something I said that bound me to you, some mere promise or, worse, the fear of loneliness and death? A man lost in the woods in the dark, I stood still and said nothing.
And then there rose in me, like the earth's empowering brew rising in root and branch, the words of a dream of you I did not know I had dreamed.
I was a wanderer who feels the solace of his native land under his feet again and moving in his blood.
I went on, blind and faithful.
Where I stepped my track was there to steady me.
It was no abyss that lay before me, but only the level ground.
III.
Sometimes our life reminds me of a forest in which there is a graceful clearing and in that opening a house, an orchard and garden, comfortable shades, and flowers red and yellow in the sun, a pattern made in the light for the light to return to.
The forest is mostly dark, its ways to be made anew day after day, the dark richer than the light and more blessed, provided we stay brave enough to keep on going in.
IV.
How many times have I come to you out of my head with joy, if ever a man was, for to approach you I have given up the light and all directions.
I come to you lost, wholly trusting as a man who goes into the forest unarmed.
It is as though I descend slowly earthward out of the air.
I rest in peace in you, when I arrive at last.
V.
Our bond is no little economy based on the exchange of my love and work for yours, so much for so much of an expendable fund.
We don't know what its limits are-- that puts us in the dark.
We are more together than we know, how else could we keep on discovering we are more together than we thought? You are the known way leading always to the unknown, and you are the known place to which the unknown is always leading me back.
More blessed in you than I know, I possess nothing worthy to give you, nothing not belittled by my saying that I possess it.
Even an hour of love is a moral predicament, a blessing a man may be hard up to be worthy of.
He can only accept it, as a plant accepts from all the bounty of the light enough to live, and then accepts the dark, passing unencumbered back to the earth, as I have fallen tine and again from the great strength of my desire, helpless, into your arms.
VI.
What I am learning to give you is my death to set you free of me, and me from myself into the dark and the new light.
Like the water of a deep stream, love is always too much.
We did not make it.
Though we drink till we burst we cannot have it all, or want it all.
In its abundance it survives our thirst.
In the evening we come down to the shore to drink our fill, and sleep, while it flows through the regions of the dark.
It does not hold us, except we keep returning to its rich waters thirsty.
We enter, willing to die, into the commonwealth of its joy.
VII.
I give you what is unbounded, passing from dark to dark, containing darkness: a night of rain, an early morning.
I give you the life I have let live for the love of you: a clump of orange-blooming weeds beside the road, the young orchard waiting in the snow, our own life that we have planted in the ground, as I have planted mine in you.
I give you my love for all beautiful and honest women that you gather to yourself again and again, and satisfy--and this poem, no more mine than any man's who has loved a woman.
Written by Wendell Berry | Create an image from this poem

Woods

 I part the out thrusting branches
and come in beneath
the blessed and the blessing trees.
Though I am silent there is singing around me.
Though I am dark there is vision around me.
Though I am heavy there is flight around me.
Written by Wendell Berry | Create an image from this poem

In this World

 The hill pasture, an open place among the trees,
tilts into the valley.
The clovers and tall grasses are in bloom.
Along the foot of the hill dark floodwater moves down the river.
The sun sets.
Ahead of nightfall the birds sing.
I have climbed up to water the horses and now sit and rest, high on the hillside, letting the day gather and pass.
Below me cattle graze out across the wide fields of the bottomlands, slow and preoccupied as stars.
In this world men are making plans, wearing themselves out, spending their lives, in order to kill each other.
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