The Real Work Poem by Wendell Berry

The Real Work

Rating: 4.3

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.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Topic(s) of this poem: work
Ruta Mohapatra 07 February 2018

Liked the last two lines. Well expressed!

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Bernard F. Asuncion 07 February 2018

Wendell, such a brilliant write.. congrats for being chosen... a huge 10+++

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Glen Kappy 07 February 2018

First, it looks like to was left out in the second line, so it should read come to our real work. In response to what Berry says (and he is someone I respect) , I think, yes, we need to be challenged. But what of inspiration that is graced on us? But often for us it follows the times of bafflement, of challenge. I especially like the closing line. GK

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John Bastardly 07 February 2018


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Wendy Tyner 14 September 2020

How can you so shamefully use a robotic audio to recite a Wendell Berry poem AND allow for audio ads to interview. Terrible!

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Jann Boyer 14 November 2018

I love this poem. It challenges, and comforts. Thank you.

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Wallis Green 07 February 2018

A neat poem that wrote itself.

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Susan Williams 07 February 2018

Brevity makes the point sharper- -and sometimes truth is blunt. Berry makes the blunt truth piercing sharp. Excellent piece of writing here.

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Edward Kofi Louis 07 February 2018

The mind that is not baffled is not employed! Thanks for sharing.

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Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry

Henry County, Kentucky
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