Friday, November 12, 2010

Poetry Friday: How to Be a Poet


I feel a wee bit bad posting this poem on a screen (you'll see why when you read it.) But I'm going to do it anyway because sometimes the first place you meet a poet is on a screen like this one. And I'd hate to think there's someone who hasn't met Wendell Berry's poetry, even on a screen.

Not to mention that there's no way I'll not post a poem with a line like this:

Accept what comes from silence.

And now, a quiet post:

How To Be a Poet
by Wendell Berry

(to remind myself)

i
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.

(Read the rest here, at the Poetry Foundation.)

The round-up today is at Scrub-a-Dub-Tub.

6 comments:

Terry Doherty said...

I love the last part "if they like it, question their judgment"! Thanks for stopping by today, Karen.

Karen E. said...

Thanks, Terry. Yes, I love that line, too!

Melissa said...

This is one of my favourite poems, one I only discovered this year when given Berry's Given for my birthday. Thank you for sharing it here. The last 5 lines are my favourite.

Off the topic, I notice that your word verification doesn't show the word the first time I try to post a comment.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

"make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came."

YES! That is just what I need to hear! Also the wisdom about prayer in that same stanza. Thank you!

Mary Lee said...

"There are no unsacred places..."

Not even a screen for Mr. Berry's poem.

What a writer. What a thinker. What a poet.

Amy LV said...

Ahhhh...wisdom.
Now to get away from the screen - thank you for the reminder!