Wendell Berry Poems

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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

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

The Country Of Marriage


I dream of you walking at night along the streams
of the country of my birth, warm blooms and the nightsongs

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.

The Hidden Singer

The gods are less for their love of praise.
Above and below them all is a spirit that needs nothing
but its own wholeness, its health and ours.
It has made all things by dividing itself.

A Meeting In A Part

In a dream I meet
my dead friend. He has,
I know, gone long and far,
and yet he is the same

A Timbered Choir

Even while I dreamed I prayed that what I saw was only fear and no foretelling,
for I saw the last known landscape destroyed for the sake
of the objective, the soil bludgeoned, the rock blasted.
Those who had wanted to go home would never get there now.

A Warning To My Readers

Do not think me gentle
because I speak in praise
of gentleness, or elegant
because I honor the grace


And now to the Abyss I pass
Of that Unfathomable Grass...


The Mad Farmer Revolution

Being a Fragment
of the Natural History of New Eden,
in Homage
To Mr. Ed McClanahan, One of the Locals


Wendell Berry Poems

Wendell Berry is a poet, author, and environmentalist who resides in Port Royal, Kentucky, not far from where he was born, and has run a farm there for more than 40 years. He is an ardent supporter of agrarian principles and has a great regard for the land. Over 50 books of poetry, fiction, and essays are written by him. His poetry celebrates the holiness of life and everyday miracles often taken for granted. We have brought together Wendell Berry's poems and Wendell Berry's quotes for you. Here you can reach the life of poet Wendell Berry. In addition, Wendell Berry books, poet Wendell Berry quotes and Wendell Berry poems titles are also included in our article. These are the selected poems of Wendell Berry.

The National Books Critics Circle presented Berry with the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. 2010 saw him receive the National Humanities Medal from Barack Obama. Berry’s other honors include the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Aiken Taylor Award for poetry, the John Hay Award of the Orion Society, and the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. 

Berry’s poetry collections include This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems (2014), Given (2005), A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems 1979-1997, Entries: Poems (1994), Traveling at Home (1989), The Selected Poems of poet Wendell Berry (1988), Collected Poems 1957-1982 (1985), Clearing (1977), There Is Singing Around Me (1976), and The Broken Ground (1964).

In poet Wendell Berry’s writing poetry, fiction, or essays, his message is essentially the same: humans must learn to live in harmony with the natural rhythms of the earth or perish. Berry further believes that traditional values, such as marital fidelity and strong community ties, are essential for the survival of humankind. Berry has made statements that support this situation in many of his interviews.

It is possible to see the themes that Berry used in his poems in his life. As a young man he returned to his ancestral lands after spending time in California, Europe and New York. He taught at the University of Kentucky for many years, but eventually took up farming full-time. He uses horses to work his land and employs organic methods of fertilization and pest control; he also worked as a contributing editor to New Farm Magazine and Organic Gardening and Farming, which have published his poetry as well as his agricultural treatises.

Wendell Berry’s Books

It is possible to see different genres among Wendell Berry's books. Here are Wendell Berry's books;

The Peace of Wild Things: And Other Poems 2018

The selected poems of Wendell Berry 1998

Jayber Crow 2000

The Unsettling of America 1977

Hannah Coulter 2004

What are people for? 1990

The Mad Farmer Poems 2008

This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems 2013

The art of the commonplace 2002

The Need to Be Whole: Patriotism and the History of Prejudice 2022

The World-Ending Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry 2017

Fidelity 1992

Andy Catlett: 2006

Nathan Coulter 1985

A place on earth 1966

The hidden wound 1970

A timbered choir 1998

Life Is a Miracle 2000

That distant land 2002

Whitefoot: A Story from the Center of the World 2008

The memory of Old Jack 1974

A world lost 1996

New Collected Poems 2012

The country of marriage 1973

Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community 1992

Watch with Me 1994

Standing by words 1980

The Need to Be Whole 2022

The Gift of Good Land 1981

Two more stories of the Port William membership 1997

The long-legged house 1969

Why I Am Not Going to Buy a Computer: Essays 1987

Think Little: Essays 1972

It All Turns on Affection: The Jefferson Lecture and Other Essays 2012

Bringing It to the Table: On Farming and Food 2009

Window Poems 2003

The Art of Loading Brush: New Agrarian Writings 2017

The Wild Birds 1986

How It Went: Thirteen More Stories of the Port William Membership 2022

Stand By Me 2019

Terrapin: And Other Poems 2014

Home economics 1987

Leavings: Poems 2009

The Wild Geese 1989

What I Stand for Is What I Stand On 2021

A continuous harmony 1972

Given 2005

The unforeseen wilderness 1971

Our Only World: Ten Essays 2015

The Farm 2018

Mangiare è un atto agricolo 2015

You can read one of the selected poems by poet Wendell Berry below.

The Peace of Wild Things by 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

of 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 Quotes

“Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of supply and demand; it is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy.”


Wendell Berry, The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry

“People use drugs, legal and illegal, because their lives are intolerably painful or dull. They hate their work and find no rest in their leisure. They are estranged from their families and their neighbors. It should tell us something that in healthy societies drug use is celebrative, convivial, and occasional, whereas among us it is lonely, shameful, and addictive. We need drugs, apparently, because we have lost each other.”


“You can best serve civilization by being against what usually passes for it.”


Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

“Don't own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.”


“It may be that when we no longer know which way to go that we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”


Wendell Berry, Farming: a hand book

“Telling a story is like reaching into a granary full of wheat and drawing out a handful. There is always more to tell than can be told.”


Wendell Berry

“Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you.”


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.


“You mustn’t wish for another life. You mustn’t want to be somebody else. What you must do is this:

“Rejoice evermore.

Pray without ceasing.

In everything give thanks.” 

I am not all the way capable of so much, but those are the right instructions.”


Wendell Berry, Hannah Coulter


“Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.”


“Be joyful because it is humanly possible.”


“There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places.”


“I don't believe that grief passes away. It has its time and place forever. More time is added to it; it becomes a story within a story. But grief and griever alike endure.”


“Love is what carries you, for it is always there, even in the dark, or most in the dark, but shining out at times like gold stitches in a piece of embroidery. ”


“A corporation, essentially, is a pile of money to which a number of persons have sold their moral allegiance.”

Wendell Berry Poems and Wendell Berry Quotes

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