26 Total Quotes

Wendell Berry Quotes

Wendell Berry
We cannot comprehend what comprehends us.
Wendell Berry
#American Poet

Wendell Berry
The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.
Wendell Berry
#American Poet

Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me, and I wake in 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 or grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Wendell Berry
#Despair

Wendell Berry
We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time: How much is enough?
Wendell Berry
#American Poet

Wendell Berry
To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.
Wendell Berry
#American Poet #Cherish

Wendell Berry
Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.
Wendell Berry
#American Poet #Argument

Wendell Berry
The past is our definition. We may strive, with good reason, to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better to it.
Wendell Berry
#American Poet #Definition

Wendell Berry
I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief... For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Wendell Berry
#American Poet

Wendell Berry
These are people who are capable of devotion, public devotion, to justice. They meant what they said and every day that passes, they mean it more.
Wendell Berry
#American Poet

Wendell Berry
It is not from ourselves that we learn to be better than we are.
Wendell Berry
#American Poet

Wendell Berry
All right, every day ain't going to be the best day of your life, don't worry about that. If you stick to it you hold the possibility open that you will have better days.
Wendell Berry
#American Poet

Wendell Berry
I am not bound for any public place, but for ground of my own where I have planted vines and orchard trees, and in the heat of the day climbed up into the healing shadow of the woods. Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.
Wendell Berry
#Nature

Wendell Berry
Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.
Wendell Berry
#American Poet

Wendell Berry
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.
Wendell Berry
#Future

Wendell Berry
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.
Wendell Berry
#World

Wendell Berry
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.
Wendell Berry
#Water

Wendell Berry
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.
Wendell Berry
#Farming And Farmers

Wendell Berry
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.
Wendell Berry
#Marriage

Wendell Berry
Though the air is full of singing my head is loud with the labor of words. Though the season is rich with fruit, my tongue hungers for the sweet of speech. Though the beech is golden I cannot stand beside it mute, but must say "It is golden," while the leaves stir and fall with a sound that is not a name. It is in the silence that my hope is, and my aim. A song whose lines I cannot make or sing sounds men's silence like a root. Let me say and not mourn: the world lives in the death of speech and sings there.
Wendell Berry
#Silence

Wendell Berry
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, the hill, 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 seed 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.
Wendell Berry
#Generosity #Wish And Wishing

Wendell Berry
I was born in a drouth year. That summer my mother waited in the house, enclosed in the sun and the dry ceaseless wind, for the men to come back in the evenings, bringing water from a distant spring. veins of leaves ran dry, roots shrank. And all my life I have dreaded the return of that year, sure that it still is somewhere, like a dead enemys soul. Fear of dust in my mouth is always with me, and I am the faithful husband of the rain, I love the water of wells and springs and the taste of roofs in the water of cisterns. I am a dry man whose thirst is praise of clouds, and whose mind is something of a cup. My sweetness is to wake in the night after days of dry heat, hearing the rain.
Wendell Berry
#Water

Wendell Berry
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.
Wendell Berry
#Peace