Tuesday, May 15, 2007

be joyful

"Be joyful, though you've considered all the facts."

Wendell Berry

One of my favorite authors of all time. He wrote the novels Hannah Coulter and Jayber Crow and many others. I've loved them all. He also wrote this poem:

The Wish to Be Generous

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 ~

(The Collected Poems, 1957-1982)



4 comments:

Nikki said...

Wow, such a beautiful beautiful poem! I am looking for this book. Thanks, V!

Nikki said...

...rather, I guess I should ask, which book might this poem be IN? The ones you listed are novels? He must have a book of poetry you could recommend?

Virginia Wieringa said...

Ah, yes, sorry not to have that listed here. 'The Wish to Be Generous' is in "Collected Poems 1957-1982" by Wendell Berry- I first heard this read by Meryl Streep on Prarie Home Companion recently.

Virginia Wieringa said...

He's a prodigious and protean writer. He covers just about every genre of writing.