Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mid-week reminder: Poem

This poem really should be titled: How to live your life.

How To Be a Poet
(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.
-Wendell Berry

I know this can't be reality for most of us, most days; there are too many things that have to be done, accomplished, running this way and that. But, in pockets and pieces, I want to remember this, and let it flow into life as much as possible. It creates a desire in me to get away--even from the screens!--and just sit, be, pray, live.


  1. Yes, very good. And here I am looking at a paraphrase a quote I found some time ago, to make a creation you must have solitude. And of course there is alwasy Exodus 14:14.


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