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New Collected Poems

4.54 of 5 stars 4.54  ·  rating details  ·  156 ratings  ·  19 reviews
In Wendell Berry’s upcoming The New Collected Poems, the poet revisits for the first time his immensely popular Collected Poems, which The New York Times Book Review described as “a straight-forward search for a life connected to the soil, for marriage as a sacrament and family life” that “affirms a style that is resonant with the authentic,” and “[returns] American poetry ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Counterpoint (first published January 1st 2012)
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James Murphy
Not long ago I saw an interview of Peter Matthiessen in which he was asked which writers he admires. The first he mentioned was Wendell Berry. His saying that was gratifying to me because Berry is one of 3 poets I've recently become attracted to because of his pastoral sensitivity, whose work creates a recognizable reality through the reflection of it. But it was also the way Matthiessen spoke of him I thought interesting: he called him a man in Kentucky who speaks the truth. And I recognized at ...more
I checked this out on impulse at the library from a display. Prior to this, I had no familiarity with Wendell Berry as a poet; I had only a vague familiarity with him as a novelist, essayist, and lover of nature. While reading it, I began post-it flagging my favorite poems, only to find that I ended up with dozens of flags jutting out from the pages. Berry encapsulates much of the human experience in eloquent yet simple terms that speak to me. "Window Poems," for example, gives a glimpse of his ...more
Mark Bruce
Wendell Berry is one of those poets you hear about, whose name sound like a poet's name, whose work promises to be a return to the good dark loam of rural life and verse, but you never seem to get around to reading anything substantial by the man. He is an accomplished poet but this 400 page book does not help his cause. There are too many long poems whose themes get lost in a morass of "serious thoughts," somewhat like having and centric old guy lecture at you about life and death and marriage. ...more
Charles van Heck
Wendell Berry takes the reader into the hillside farmland of Henry County, Kentucky to connect both himself and his readers with what is authentic in life. He removes the false notes of what passes for poetry--what is often jumbled, arrogant, and pretentious reflections of a poet in a mirror--to remind us that when properly cultivated words, like the soil can yield a bountiful harvest. These poems remind us of the beauty we can be rewarded with when we take the time to live responsibly and with ...more
I was preconditioned to love this collection. Wendell Berry is among my favorite writers - of poetry, short story, novel, essay - and this volume gathers together some of the best poems of his career.

If you've heard friends rave about the man's work but haven't yet gotten your feet wet in it, this is a good place to start. Don't read it from cover to cover, but dip in at random spots and splash around a little.
David Sam
Wendell Berry is one of the more under-rated poets of the last 50 years. His new collection of his best over that time demonstrates time and again his deep connection with the land, his profound but complex religious faith, and his lyrical ear. His poems can be read and appreciated by those who regularly read verse and those who seldom do.

That accessibility and his impatience with artifice in poetry or politics may suggest why some in the academic world ignore or disparage his writing.

The later
Vikki Marshall
If there is such a thing as Father Earth, then this natural, mystic poet surely must be it. Berry’s collected poems cover a significant time frame, spanning almost 40 years. We delve deep into American roots; we become farmers, family, lovers and caretakers of the land. Berry mourns for his fallen beloved, he wages war against the very act of war, and he begs us to maintain an environment that we can all thrive within. His poetry is a communion with one another and he asks us to embrace the eart ...more
Benjamin Vineyard

These words are scenes of human simplicity, of which we’re all composed. Such is who we truly are no matter our efforts to feel ourselves more complex.

These words, then, are touch points with reality, contacts with what it means to be a human being in God's grand masterpiece. We find ourselves coming back to this simple state of being and Berry has provided a simple road map.

My favorite poems are the rural stories, the ones where it feels like Berry and I are out in the meadow and he's telling
I arrived at the last page of this book of poems last night but am not finished with the book. In fact, I am not finished with any of the Wendell Berry books that I've read. He writes in a simple, logical way that causes me to slow down and think, and wrestle and ponder. His works sticks with me and draws me back for reference. The bookseller (that sold me this book) matter-of-factly stated, "The world would be a better place if everyone would read a Wendell Berry book." I agree.

Here are some of
If you are not already a fan of this poet, I suggest trying one of his individual poetry titles first, such as "Farming: A Handbook," and selecting this full collection only if you are, like I hope to be, a Wendell Berry completist.

That said, I feel the need to explain my three-star rating, so here goes:

I do adore Wendell Berry's work. I have read quite a lot of his published writing by now, and I think of him first as an essayist, second (but just barely second) as a writer of fiction, and thir
This new collection encompasses eleven previous books of poetry. Some I found inaccessible. Others I want to memorize. I smiled at the irony of reading "stay away from screens" as I read this book on my Kindle. I smiled at the two line poem entitled "Seventy Years" Well, anyhow, I am not going to die young.

Death is the subject of many poems; death, funerals, remembering, membership.

I don't foresee me reading through this book again, but I will revisit my favorites: "Her First Calf", "At a Count
Debra Scott
While some of his line were wonderfully desciptive and breathed with life, the never ending theme of death left me depressed. I gave up after half the book. I could not read another poem about death, dieting and graves.
I adore Wendell Berry's work, and this was no different. Poems ranged from 1964 - 2004. As he got older, his wit became drier, but all of the poems were great. As with all his writing, you have to quiet your mind, pay attention & read each word. You'll enjoy the journey.
Andrea McDowell
Wendell Berry is an enormously accomplished poet, and when writing of his love for his wife or his family or the landscape surrounding his farm, his poetry is brilliant and profound. But his poem-rants never have the resonance of his other pieces, and all too often when he does write of his wife, or of social issues, I find that his implied views of women would exclude me from the world he's building.

Still, his absolutist stand against change of all kinds and in all contexts is vastly overwhelm
Jun 27, 2012 Steve rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: icpl
Wendell Berry is a modern day prophet warning us against the desecration of our natural resources, especially the land. These poem are sobering to read. A good example is To My Children, Fearing for Them, p. 66.
Sep 27, 2014 Ron rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
If you've never read any Wendell Berry poetry, this book is a great place to start. It collects poems from a bunch of his previous releases into a single place.
Hannah Jane
Jul 17, 2012 Hannah Jane added it
Shelves: poetry
Even though this wasn't my cup of tea, I did enjoy The Companions and To Go By Singing. I just couldn't get into his longer pieces.
Aug 30, 2013 Resi rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
absolutely LOVED it! reads like a "real talk" even more down-to-earth version of Robert Frost
Pam Gary
So envious of the poet who can put it together perfectly, just like Wendell Berry.
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Berry and Gilbert 1 2 Aug 25, 2012 07:16AM  
  • Swan: Poems and Prose Poems
  • Songs of Unreason
  • Good Poems: American Places
  • Dien Cai Dau
  • Poems 1962-2012
  • The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems
  • White Apples and the Taste of Stone: Selected Poems, 1946-2006
  • Pomes Penyeach
  • Stag's Leap: Poems
  • Space, in Chains
  • One Hundred and One Poems by Paul Verlaine: A Bilingual Edition
  • The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
  • New and Selected Poems: 1962-2012
  • Silence in the Snowy Fields: Poems (Wesleyan Poetry Program)
  • Duino Elegies/The Sonnets of Orpheus
  • Rimbaud: Poems (Pocket Poets)
  • The Collected Poems, 1975-2005
  • The Inner Experience: Notes on Contemplation
Wendell Berry is a conservationist, farmer, essayist, novelist, professor of English and poet. He was born August 5, 1934 in Henry County, Kentucky where he now lives on a farm. The New York Times has called Berry the "prophet of rural America."
More about Wendell Berry...
Jayber Crow Hannah Coulter The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture The Collected Poems, 1957-1982 Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community: Eight Essays

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“When the mind’s an empty room The clear days come.” 1 likes
“THE ARRIVAL Like a tide it comes in, wave after wave of foliage and fruit, the nurtured and the wild, out of the light to this shore. In its extravagance we shape the strenuous outline of enough.” 0 likes
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