The Mad Farmer Poems

I fell for Wendell Berry’s new book in October. We have one of those gorgeous small neighborhood bookstores near our house that the Hubby coerced me into entering. I knew what would happen. I would fall in love. With some book I suddenly wouldn’t want to live without. Bookstores are a unique torture for me. And I did, of course.

Could you resist this book?

Ole Wendell is my second favorite non-fiction writer (after my beloved Sandor Ellix Katz) and I had wanted to delve into his poetry for some time.That’s all well and good, but even worse, this book is a non-standard size- extra tall, and slender (do I need to explain this special allure?) and has woodcuts in it. Oh dear, and I am a sucker for woodcuts.  So I blew $25. And I don’t regret it.


Been meaning to share with y’all a slice of this mouth-watering pie ever since. And by the way, if you’ve not gathered from other pages herein, my fave of his books, an absolutely astounding work, is The Unsettling of America. Find it. Read it. Tell me the man is not brilliantly eloquent.

And for now, here- taste this.

The Man Born to Farming

by Wendell Berry

The Grower of Trees, the gardener, the man born to farming,
whose hands reach into the ground and sprout,
to him the soil is a divine drug. He enters into death
yearly, and comes back rejoicing. He has seen the light lie down
in the dung heap, and rise again in the corn.
His thought passes along the row ends like a mole.
What miraculous seed has he swallowed
That the unending sentence of his love flows out of his mouth
Like a vine clinging in the sunlight, and like water
Descending in the dark?

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