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The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry
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The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  475 ratings  ·  23 reviews
These 100 poems written between 1957 and 1996 were chosen by the author. Focusing on themes that have occupied his work for years - land and nature, family and community, tradition as the groundwork for life and culture, the selection celebrates the broad range of this poet.
Published October 1st 1998 by Counterpoint LLC
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
There are some poets from whom one poem is really all I needed, no matter how much of their other work I may read.
I could read my favorite Wendell Berry poem fifty or a hundred times in a row, and cry every single time. And that tells you just about everything you need to know about me. So I share it with you here.

The Peace of Wild Things

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 wh
3.5 stars.
I am not qualified to rate poetry, I can only share what speaks to me. And these did:

The Broken Ground

The opening out and out,
body yielding body:
the breaking
through which the new
comes, perching
above its shadow
on the piling up
darkened broken old
husks of itself:
bud opening to flower
opening to fruit opening
to the sweet marrow
of the seed--
from what was, from
what could have been.
What is left
is what is


Did I believe I had a clear mind?
It was like the water of a river
flowing sha
Once I was given the great gift of Wendell Berry's poem "Do Not Be Ashamed," which can be found in this selection of his poetry.

"Do Not Be Ashamed"

You will be walking some night
in the comfortable dark of your yard
and suddenly a great light will shine
round about you, and behind you
will be a wall you never saw before.
It will be clear to you suddenly
that you were about to escape,
and that you are guilty: you misread
the complex instructions, you are not
a member, you lost your card
or never had one. An
I've known of Wendell Berry all my life, his poetry being some of my father's favorite. But I have never read much Berry. I'm taking a poetry class this semester and we have been encouraged to read good poetry, because that is considered one of the best ways to become a better poet. I am starting off my reading list with Berry, from this volume I found on the bookshelf of my professor in whose house I'm living while he and his family are away in Latvia on the Fullbright Fellowship.
I didn't love as many of these poems as with other collections; it felt like these was his academic, proof-of-being-a-serious-poet-collection. But I see why he is considered to have "returned American poetry to a Wordsworthian clarity of purpose." NTYBR. Simple, timeless, spiritual.

His epic Window Poems held incredible promise, I was reading them out loud, enjoying the tone, pace, and resonance since I too love to look out windows especially in my family home. It was epic and spanned generation
Wendell Berry is something unique in the poetry scene today: an authentically American poet living in but not with an authentic late 20th Century modernity.

In this volume of selected poetry, we are introduced to the major themes of Berry, namely the beauty of the moment that doesn't last, the security of "the same changing thing/in the same place," and the glory of the American ideals of liberty and self-reliance. Also to be found in these pages: a fixation on death as a part of life, a fixation
Josh Skaggs
I'm not sure anything will ever measure up to that first time I read Sabbath Poems, but these were still good. Thanks, Wendell.
Wendell Berry soothes. His rich verse interweaving nature with the inevitable subjects of life has always brought me to a sort of zen. The poems are generally long (sometimes spanning several pages) so if you are looking for something to fill a single hour perhaps don't pick this up. But a free afternoon? On a still, cool day with wind chimes tinkling? Wendell Berry is a relaxing, thoughtful joy, and a poet you should most certainly take the time to sit and appreciate. Five stars all the way.
I really love Berry's poetry. There's such a beauty to it...he's really made me fall in love with poetry again. His poetry is understandable on the first read, yet brings so much meaning to his words that I find myself reading them again and again. :)
I really love Berry's poetry. There's such a beauty to it...he's really made me fall in love with poetry again. His poetry is understandable on the first read, yet brings so much meaning to his words that I find myself reading them again and again. :)
There is much to love in this collection. It includes some of my favorites: The Peace of Wild Things, The Country of Marriage, Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front . . .

"You are holding in your body the dark seed of sleep."
Paul Blaney
Here's a poet with his feet firmly planted in the (Kentucky) soil. Spiritual, environmental, and yet profound in its simplicity. I was excited to discover this American voice and will want to read more.
Tiffany Davidson
I live just down the road from Wendell Berry. It is even more enchanting to read his words and know the woods, roads, and river he so often writes of.
I really like Wendell Berry, both his novels and poetry. I think this book of selected Poems gives a great overview for Mr Berry's talents and passions.
This is my favorite book. I read it regularly. When I travel I take it with me. A piece of my soul is between its covers.
Charlise Hill-Larson
As my father lay dying, I read Berry's poetry to him at his bedside. It's a wonderful collection, deeply moving and spiritual.
Let's just say that if I ever had a son, I'd be seriously tempted to name him Wendell.

Lovely and brilliant as always.
May FLower
An interesting collection of poems covering the autumn year's of Berry's life.
One of my favorite poets now. Love his need and sense for the land.

More on this later...
my favorite book of poetry
Derek Hostetter
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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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