random act of poetry

[via The Rabbit Room, but I also have this poem in a book in my writing room upstairs]

How To Be a Poet
by Wendell Berry

(to remind myself)


Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill—more of each
than you have—inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your poems,
doubt their judgment.


Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.


Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.


shari said...

i adore this poem and have been passing it along to everyone i know!

Christine said...

Oooh, I love this. "there are no unsacred places"....

Abbie said...

Communicate slowly. Live a three-dimensioned life.

I love it.

I'm part of a Wendell Berry yahoo group. There's not much activity there (and certainly no Mr. Berry himself....), but when there's a discussion, it's always enjoyable.

jenni said...

I'm happy y'all agree ~ Wendell Berry's brain is one of my favorites.