e_legs

The Want of Peace

In Misc. on October 1, 2006 at 4:26 pm

by Wendell Berry

All goes back to the earth,
and so I do not desire
pride of excess or power,
but the contentments made
by men who have had little:
the fisherman’s silence
receiving the river’s grace,
the gardener’s musing on rows

I lack the peace of simple things.
I am never wholly in place.
I find no peace or grace.
We sell the world to buy fire,
our way lighted by burning men,
and that has bent my mind
and made me think of darkness
and wish for the dumb life of roots.

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  1. Wow! Can you tell me where you found this?

  2. In a book of poems by Wendell Berry, called “Openings”

    Its incredible. Every poem is different, and theyre all great. I understand he’s also a novelist, and essayist, and a farmer

  3. Thanks, and yes, I’ve read some other things of his that were amazing. Sojourners has a thought-provoking interview at

  4. hmm can’t get the link to show up – I’ll try once more –
    Berry interview

  5. […] Earlier this week I posted a poem by Wendell Berry – poet, farmer, essayist, novelist. Heres an excerpt from a fantastic interview with Sojourner magazine, in which he discusses the difficulties faced by American farmers, and the need for local, sustainable agriculture. Also, the fact that our current system of exporting and importing food is completely reliant on fossil fuels, and that it would collapse if fossil fuel production slowed or stopped. What would we do then, starve? How do you feed cities of millions if your local farms are producing for export, the city relies on import, and there’s no fossil fuel to do the job? Smells like Babylon to me. BERRY: Tobacco acreages have declined here because the companies can fill their needs more cheaply elsewhere. The other products we grow are thrown into the world market to compete as best they can. With the help of subsidies, of course. In Kentucky we have always raised for export… […]

  6. Thank you Monte. That article was wonderful. I created a new post with an excerpt from it.

  7. Great – glad you could use it!

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