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4.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  105 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
In these poems written over the past decade Wendell Berry combines plainspoken elegance with deeply felt emotion--this is work of both remembrance and regeneration. Whether writing as son of a dying father or as father of a daughter about to be wed, Berry plumbs the complexities of conflict, grief, loss, and love. He celebrates life from the domestic to the eternal, findin ...more
Paperback, 88 pages
Published April 1st 1997 by Counterpoint (first published 1994)
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Micah McCarty
Jul 30, 2012 Micah McCarty rated it it was amazing
Wow. There was a section at the end of poems he had written about his father that were devastatingly beautiful. I can't imagine watching a parent slowly deteriorate into confusion and sickness. I know that day will come. And I know that on that day I will return to these poems as a source for my own struggles and healing. Wendell Berry is simply my favorite author. Everything he writes connects with me on so many levels. The book is worth the price simply for this one poem entitled For and Absen ...more
Sep 01, 2013 Jasonlylescampbell rated it really liked it
Anglo-Saxon Protestent Heterosexual Men

Come, dear brothers,
let us cheerfully acknowledge
that we are the last hope of the world,
for we have no excuses,
nobody to blame but ourselves.
Who is going to sit at our feet
and listen while we bewail
our historical sufferings? Who
will ever believe that we also
have wept in the night
with repressed longing to become
our real selves? Who will
stand forth and proclaim
that we have virtues and talents
peculiar to our category? Nobody,
and that is good. For here we are
Jan 01, 2015 Carmen rated it did not like it
Berry is a fauxgressive Southern white dude writing for other fauxgressive Southern white dudes. An occasional poem is "ok" but mostly it's boring drivel that surely wouldn't find a publisher if not written by, you guessed it, a white dude. Immediately tossing this one into the donation pile.
Aug 29, 2014 Michelle rated it really liked it
Berry so wonderfully captures the beauty, the poignancy, and the meaning in the mundane activities of our daily life. The section of poems devoted to his father's final days is especially moving.
Jan 20, 2016 Joey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I really liked the poems Berry wrote about his father - 4.5 stars.

The other poems were just okay.
Maddie Jaques
May 01, 2015 Maddie Jaques rated it it was amazing
I will always love Berry's look at the simply life. I so enjoy his writings...I tend to quote him an awful lot...:)
Sep 25, 2015 Christine rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, read-in-2015
"The Reassurer" was AWESOME.
Maughn Gregory
Aug 21, 2012 Maughn Gregory rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
One is startled at how Berry moves between poems of human intimacy, community and relationship to nature, and poems of political diatribe -- until one realizes that they are two inseparable aspects of his wisdom: his take on what makes a worthwhile life and what makes that possible.
Aug 09, 2010 Tim rated it it was amazing
Absolutely stunning. From his love poems, to those against the American way of overindulgence and greed, to the poignant looks at his father, Berry is at the top of my list of American poets.

If you don't read a lot of poetry (or any) this would be a great start!


Colleen O'Neill Conlan
Jan 14, 2012 Colleen O'Neill Conlan rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
It was The Wild Rose that brought me to this collection, and yes, that poem is lovely. The last section is a series of poems about his father: "he was / my enemy...[and] by God / the truest teacher in my life." The last poem, "Come Forth," is a stunner.
Mar 20, 2009 Kristen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry

"You look at me, you give a light, which I bear and return, and we are held, and all is held, in this look- we burn and see by our own light."
Nov 13, 2008 Patrick rated it it was amazing
If nothing else, read the closing set of poems, In Extremis, about addressing his father's death. Hits the nail on the head.
Eldonfoil TH*E Whatever Champion
Excellent first section. Fourth section was also of interest, but the middle sections were somewhat letdowns.
Mar 30, 2008 Rebekah rated it it was amazing
my favorite book of poetry by one of my favorite poets
Sarah Pascarella
Jun 25, 2008 Sarah Pascarella rated it it was amazing
Berry is my favorite poet.
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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."
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“How joyful to be together, alone
as when we first were joined
in our little house by the river
long ago, except that now we know

each other, as we did not then;
and now instead of two stories fumbling
to meet, we belong to one story
that the two, joining, made. And now

we touch each other with the tenderness
of mortals, who know themselves”
More quotes…