Friday, January 8, 2010

Poetry Friday

I've written very few poems in my life. I am in awe of those who have the skill. As I sit here, in my New England home that is covered in wind-blown snow, I wonder what a poet would make of this gray and black and white day? Wendell Berry gives us a clue about how to go about it:

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.


Sally said...

Love Wendell Berry! Thank you . . .

I'm Jet . . . said...

I especially love the last stanza. Hadn't heard this one before, Mur. Thank you so much for finding it!


Karin Huxman said...

I love this! Thanks Mur.