This Day

This Day❰Read❯ ➳ This Day Author Wendell Berry – For nearly thirty five years Wendell Berry has been at work on a series of poems occasioned by his solitary Sunday walks around his farm in Kentucky From riverfront and meadows to grass fields and woo For nearly thirty five years Wendell Berry has been at work on a series of poems occasioned by his solitary Sunday walks around his farm in Kentucky From riverfront and meadows to grass fields and woodlots every inch of this hillside farm lives in these poems as do the poet’s constant companions in memory and occasion family and animals who have with Berry created his Home Place with love and gratitudeThere are poems of spiritual longing and political extremity memorials and celebrations elegies and lyrics that include some of the most beautiful domestic poems in American literature alongside the occasional rants of the Mad Farmer pushed to the edge yet again by his compatriots and elected officialsWith the publication of this new complete edition it is becoming increasingly clear that The Sabbath Poems have become the very heart of Berry’s entire work And these magnificent poems taken as a whole have become one of the greatest contributions ever made to American poetry. It was very hard to pick a favorite poem from this beautiful book I choose 3 to add this was a perfect book to read with everything that is going on in the world right nowWhat do the tall trees sayTo the late havocs in the sky?They sighThe air moves and they swayWhen the breeze on the hillIs still they they stand stillThey waitThey have no fear Their fateIs faith BirdsongIs all they've wanted all along Off in the woods in the uietmorning a redbird is singingand his song goes out around himgreater than its purposea welcoming room of songin which the trees standthrough which the creek flows p 261I know that I have lifeonly insofar as I have loveI have no loveexcept it come from TheeHelp me please to carrythis candle against the wind A dense and beautiful collection of poems that perfectly encapsulate all the things that make Wendell Berry such an approachable and timeless poet He repeats themes a lot but never presents them in a way that feels redundant He lets his passions and frustrations and fears shine and reading his work—especially out loud—is a meditative and almost healing You can’t help but hear the sounds of nature while reading Berry’s workBerry might not be the most profound or technically stunning of poets—although I’d never admit to being able to define what those traits should even look like—but he is a master of voice and tone and lures his reader in with an air of simplicity and then traps them with his layered and complex thematics There were countless times throughout this collection where a poem would gently take me by the hand walk me through it’s beautiful language and then sucker punch me with a final decisive line or stanza that left me reeling That’s the beauty of Berry’s poetryI can’t recommend this book enough You can almost smell the earth and hear the bird song Honest Tender Observant Measured Connected Wendell Berry is so full of love and respect for God's creation and his own small place in it They span the years 1979 to 2013 For all those years the poet Wendell Berry has been in the habit of taking solitary Sunday walks around his farm and holdings in Kentucky And in the habit of writing poems about what he saw and experienced on those walks The result is an impressively extensive body of work called Sabbath Poems They're published in their entirety as This Day Sabbath Poems Collected and New 1979 2013These are all relatively short poems They're meditative and Thoreau like They're pastoral nature conscious and as you might expect observant of every personality of the seasons aware of every type of wingbeat and footpad of life there These poems are always sensitive to the passage of time and they're modest and grateful for the world In recent years the poems have become spiritual Thinking about Berry's awareness of and ability to articulate the wholeness of existence it's no wonder he's been compared to the great Roman poet HoraceThis is a remarkable seuence of poems This is the kind of volume you want to keep nearby so as to be able to open it freuently and be brought back into contact with Berry's easy comfort in the world He writes about his home in Kentucky but the specific location doesn't matter because it's everywhere It is mildly rrdiculous for a reader to give stars for a rating to a book of poems as wonderful as this one But I do hoping others will follow the stars to the poet and learn from him as I have Thanks to Goodreads I know I’ve spent nearly 18 months with these poems and they truly ushered in so much Sabbath in that time I realize not every poem in the collection is a 5 star one but I give 5 stars to this incredible tribute to the growth of a man a mind a voice a message I think the crowning achievement is toward the end—“The Book of Camp Branch” which I would like to memorize and which I suspect is a sister poem to Berry’s book of essays Standing By Words coming up this year in my apprenticeship When I was younger I discovered this poet and marveled at how much his poetry spoke to me a southern farmer born before my parents and me a wandering gypsy in love with the world and that is our connection In this collection he is open and honest and angry and religious; but speaks of the light and trees like I feel of the light and trees A lot of poems were about farming and tilling the land; and a lot were about religion; and a lot about conservation but through it all he writes poems about his wife and kids and grandchildren and it is all woven with the light of nature of the earth of simplicity and complexity paired with mindfulness Beautiful Nature of course includes damage as a part of her wholeness Her creatures live only by the deaths of other creatures Wind flood and fire are as much her means of world making as birth growth maturity death and decay She destroys and she heals Her ways are cyclic but she is absolutely original She never exactly repeats herself and this is the source eually of our grief and our delight But Nature’s damages are followed by her healings though not necessarily on a human schedule or in human timeThat one is sometimes able among the disturbances of the present world to wander into some good and beautiful whereabouts of the woods grow uiet and come to rest is a gift a wonder and a kind of graceHe is a tree of a sort rooted in the dark aspiring to the light dependent on both His poems are leavings sheddings gathered from the light as it has come and offered to the dark which he believes must shine with sight with light dark only to himHe sets out at times without even a path or any guidance other than knowledge of the place and himself as they were in time already past He goes among trees climbing again the one hill of his life With his hand full of words he goes into the wordless wording it barely in time as he passes One by one he places words balancing on each as on a small stone in the swift flow1979 I I go among trees and sit still All my stirring becomes uiet around me like circles on water My tasks lie in their places where I left them asleep like cattle Then what is afraid of me comes and lives a while in my sight What it fears in me leaves me and the fear of me leaves it It sings and I hear its song Then what I am afraid of comes I live for a while in its sight What I fear in it leaves it and the fear of it leaves me It sings and I hear its song After days of labor mute in my consternations I hear my song at last and I sing it As we sing the day turnshere nothing grieves In the risen season Past life Lives in the living Resurrection Is in the way each maple leaf Commemorates its kind by connection Outreaching understanding What rises Rises into comprehension And beyond Even falling raises In praise of light What is begun Is unfinished And so the mind That comes to rest among the bluebells Comes to rest in motion refined By alteration The bud swells Opens makes seed falls is well Being becoming what it is Miracle and parable Exceeding thought because it is Immeasurable; the understander Encloses understandingTo sit and look at light filled leaves May let us see or seem to see Far backward as through clearer eyes To what unsighted hope believesWhatever is foreseen in joy Must be lived out from day to dayForedooms the body to the use of light Light into light returning as the stream Of days flows downward through us into night And into light and life and time to comeThe year drives on toward what it will becomeTo long for what eternity fulfills Is to forsake the light one has or wills To have and go into the dark to wait What light may come—no light perhaps the dark Insinuates And yet the dark conceals All possibilities thought word and light Air water earth motion and song the arc Of lives through light eyesight hope rest and work—Such a bliss Of bloom’s no ornament but root And light a saving loveliness Starred firmament here underfootThrush song stream song holy love That flows through earthly forms and folds The song of Heaven’s Sabbath fleshed In throat and ear in stream and stone A grace living here as we live Move my mind now to that which holds Things as they change The warmth has come The doors have opened Flower and song Embroider ground and air lead me Beside the healing field that waits; Growth death and a restoring form Of human use will make it well But I go on beyond higher In the hill’s fold forget the time I come from and go to recall This grove left out of all accountBeyond all history that he knows Where trees like great saints stand in time Eternal in their patienceEstranged by distance he relearns The way to uiet not his own The light at rest on tree and stone The high leaves falling in their turns Spiraling through the air made gold By their slow fall Bright on the ground They wait their darkening commend To coming light the light they holdThe sky bright after summer ending rain I sat against an oak half up the climb The sun was low; the woods was hushed in shadow; Now the long shimmer of the crickets’ song Had stopped I looked up to the westward ridge And saw the ripe October light again Shining through leaves still green yet turning gold Those glowing leaves made of the light a place That time and leaf would leave The wind came cool And then I knew that I was present in The long age of the passing world in which I once was not now am and will not be And in that time beneath the changing tree I restedRemember the small secret creases of the earth—the grassy the wooded the rocky—that the water has made finding its way Remember the voices of the water flowing Remember the water flowing under the shadows of the trees of the tall grasses of the stones Remember the water striders walking over the surface of the water as it flowed Remember the great sphere of the small wren’s song through which the water flowed and the light fell Remember and come to rest in light’s ordinary miracleGo by the narrow road Along the creek a burrow Under shadowy trees Such as a mouse makes through Tall grass so that you may Forget the wide road you Have left behind and all That it has led to Or Best walk up through the woods Around the valley rim And down to where the trees Give way to cleared hillside So that you reach the place Out of the trees’ remembrance Of their kind; seasonal And timeless they stand in Uncounted timeLoving you has taught me the infinite longing of the self to be given away and the great difficulty of that entire giving for in love to give is to receive and then there is yet to give; and others have been born of our giving to whom the self greatened by gifts must be given and by that giving be increased until self burdened the self staggering upward in years in fear hope love and sorrow imagines rising like a moon a pale moon risen in daylight over the dark woods the Self whose gift we and all others are the self that is by definition givenFinally will it not be enough after much living after much love after much dying of those you have loved to sit on the porch near sundown with your eyes simply open watching the wind shape the clouds into the shapes of clouds? Even then you will remember the history of love shaped in the shapes of flesh ever changing as the clouds that pass the blessed yearning of body for body unending light You will remember watching the clouds the future of loveOr I give myself to gravity light and air and am carried back to solitary work in fields and woods where my hands rest upon a world unnamed complete unanswerable and final as our daily bread and meat The way of love leads all ways to life beyond words silent and secret To serve that triumph I have done all the restNow you know the worst we humans have to know about ourselves and I am sorry for I know that you will be afraid To those of our bodies given without pity to be burned I know there is no answer but loving one another even our enemies and this is hard But remember when a man of war becomes a man of peace he gives a light divine though it is also human When a man of peace is killed by a man of war he gives a light You do not have to walk in darkness If you will have the courage for love you may walk in light It will be the light of those who have suffered for peace I stood still a long time for fear that any sound I made would cause that flood of light which was singing which was light to flow away forever from this flawed worldThere is a day when the road neither comes nor goes and the way is not a way but a placeThere is a place you can go where you are uiet a place of water and the light on the water Trees are there leaves and the light on leaves moved by air Birds singing move among leaves in leaf shadow After many years you have come to no thought of these but they are themselves your thoughts There seems to be little to say less and less Here they are Here you are Here as though gone None of us stays but in the hush where each leaf in the speech of leaves is a sufficient syllable the passing light finds out surpassing freedom of its wayI dream of a uiet man who explains nothing and defends nothing but only knows where the rarest wildflowers are blooming and who goes and finds that he is smiling not by his own willThe spring woods hastening now To overshadow him He’s passing in to where He can’t see out It charms Mere eyesight to believe The nearest thing not trees Is the sky into which The trees reach opening Their luminous new leaves Burdened only by A weightless shawl of shade The lighted leaves let fall He seems to move within A form unpatterned to His eye or mind design Betokened to his thought By leafshapes tossed about Ways indescribable By human tongue or hand Seem tangled here and yet Are brought to light are brought To life and thought finds rest Beneath a brightened treeWe travelers walking to the sun can’t see Ahead but looking back the very light That blinded us shows us the way we came Along which blessings now appear risen As if from sightlessness to sight and we By blessing brightly lit keep going toward The blesséd light that yet to us is darkAgain I resume the long lesson how small a thing can be pleasing how little in this hard world it takes to satisfy the mind and bring it to its restThe trees rise in silence almost natural but not uite almost eternal but not uite What did I think I wanted? Here is what has always been Here is what will always be Even in me the Maker of all this returns in rest even to the slightest of His works a yellow leaf slowly falling and is pleasedWhen we convene again to understand the world the first speaker will again point silently out the window at the hillside in its season sunlit under the snow and we will nod silently and silently stand and goThe sun Comes from the dark it lights The always passing river Shines on the great branched tree And goes Longing and dark We are completely filled With breath of love in us Forever incompleteI know for a while again the health of self forgetfulness looking out at the sky through a notch in the valley side the black woods wintry on the hills small clouds at sunset passing across And I know that this is one of the thresholds between Earth and Heaven from which even I may step forth from my self and be freeSome had derided him As unadventurous For he would not give up What he had vowed to keep But what he vowed to keep Even his keeping changed And changing led him far Beyond what they or he Foresaw and made him strange What he had vowed to keep He lost of course and yet Kept in his heart The things He vowed to keep the things He had in keeping changed The things lost in his keeping That he kept in his heart These were his pilgrimage Were his adventure near And far at home and in The world beyond this worldTo the abandoned fields The trees returned and grew They stand and grow Time comes To them time goes the trees Stand; the only place They go is where they are These wholly patient ones Who only stand and wait For time to come to them Who do not go to time Stand in eternityAsk the world to reveal its uietude— not the silence of machines when they are still but the true uiet by which birdsongs trees bellworts snails clouds storms become what they are and are nothing elseThe wind of the fall is here It is everywhere It moves every leaf of every tree It is the only motion of the river Green leaves grow weary of their color Now evening too is in the airWe come at last to the dark and enter in We are given bodies newly made out of their absence from one another in the light of the ordinary day We come to the space between ourselves the narrow doorway and pass through into the land of the wholly lovedThe light flows toward the earth the river toward the sea and these do not change The air changes as the mind changes at a word from the light a flash from the darkthis is the river of the birth of my mind and inspiration my watching many years here where I have made my toils And now I must imagine it rising light drawn invisibly up into the airLeave your windows and go out people of the world go into the streets go into the fields go into the woods and along the streams Go together go alone Say no to the Lords of War which is Money which is Fire Say no by saying yesto the air to the earth to the trees yes to the grasses to the rivers to the birds and the animals and every living thing yes to the small houses yes to the children YesIn sleep The dreamer wakes He sees Above the stars the deep Of Heaven opened IsHe living then his part Of Heaven’s earthly life? And what shall be the art By which this sight can live?They come singly the little streams Out of their solitude They bear In their rough fall a spate of gleams That glance and dance in morning air They come singly and coming go Ever downward toward the river Into whose dark abiding flow They come now uieted together In dark they mingle and are made At one with light in highest flood Embodied and inhabited The budded branch as red as bloodThe window again welcomes in the light of lengthening days The river in its old groove passes again beneath opening leaves In their brevity between cold and shade flowers again brighten the woods floor This then may be the prayer without ceasing this beauty and gratitude this momentI built a timely room beside the river The slope beneath descending to the water Some mornings it is vibrant with the glance Of sunlight brightened on the little waves The wind drives shoreward stirring leaves and branches Over the roof also It is a room Of pictures and of memories of some Who are no in time and of the absent And of the present the unresting thoughts It is a room as timely as the body As frail to shelter love’s eternal work Always unfinished here at water’s edge The work of beauty faith and gratitude Eternally alive in time Camp Branch my native stream forever unreturning flows from the town down to Cane Run which flows to the river It is my native descent my native walk my native thought that stays and goes passing ever downward toward the sea Its sound is a song that flings up light to the undersides of leaves Its song and light are a way of walking a way of thought moved by sound and sight A little than a decade ago I read A Timbered Choir Berry's first collection of Sabbath Poems They didn't stick with my uite as well as the poems in his earlier Collected Poems did but I still gathered some favourites from themThis is an updated collection of Sabbath poems that includes all of A Timbered Choir and Sabbath poems written since then up through 2012 Noticeable in this volume are Berry's reactions to the Ira War yearsBerry's recent poems continue his normal themes care of the land reflecting on marriage criticizing our culture's faults Added to that are ruminations on aging I don't think that the recent poems are as creatively powerful as the earlier ones but they are interesting insights on life from one of our wisest people Peaceful reflective simple all like a good Sunday in Kentucky Berry's sabbaths make you feel as you traversed his plains hiked in his woods marveled at nature's dance before his eyes all wrapped in a reverence of the creator and the occasional disdain for the created who don't share in his gratefulness of the gift of it all His writing grows fluid as the years traipse by and the introspection remains consistent The imagery at times seems so tangible that the reader transports easily to the bluegrass venues that Berry celebrates with marvels at and speaks to My favorite collection was 2005 Starting reading this on the subway; reading the introduction that said that the book is best read in a uiet place in nature I guess the subway is the second best place to read this book I have had the book out in my living room and friends who have seen it have said they want to read it Hard to decide where to start in reading Wendell Berry he has written so much

This Day MOBI ¼ Hardcover
  • Hardcover
  • 404 pages
  • This Day
  • Wendell Berry
  • English
  • 10 March 2014
  • 9781619021983