Friday, February 08, 2013

"How To Be a Poet"

I've run this poem before, but it's been more than two years, and, after all, one can never have too much Wendell Berry.

I feel a wee bit bad posting this poem on a screen (you'll see why when you read the second stanza) 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 out there who hasn't met Berry's poetry, even on a screen.

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.

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

The round-up today is at A Teaching Life.


jama said...

Beautiful poem. I love Berry's work!

Andromeda Jazmon Sibley said...

Love Berry! And I always disagree with that no screen thing. Times are changing!

Joy said...

Thanks for the reminder. Have a great weekend.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Thanks for sharing, Karen - every other year is certainly not too often for this poem!
"make a poem that does not disturb/
the silence from which it came" - beautiful.

Bridget Magee said...

Thanks for introducing me to Berry - even on the screen. =)

sarah said...

I am a new convert to Wendell Berry, his work is sublime.

Joyce Ray said...

Loving these lines:

"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."

I've only known Berry for a couple of years. Thanks for sharing this poem.

Mary Lee said...

Saving this one.
Perfect timing, thanks for the gift of Berry!

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I had not been introduced to Berry at all, and it was well worth the place being obscured a little.

Forrester said...

"You must depend upon

Thanks for sharing..."affection" intrigues me. After writing poetry for many years, I suppose I've never realized how much affection goes into writing. People like to through the word "passion" around a lot these days, but affection seems to better describe the feeling I get when I write, and the feeling that prompts me *to* write.