Friday, July 25, 2014

Poetry Friday: Because I Love Both Wendell Berry and Anyone (Specifically His Daughter) Who Can Honestly Say, "It Was My Pleasure to Attend the Slow Meat Symposium."

And because history, culture, and tradition are small and personal. 

(With thanks to Arthur Powers,* who, on a Catholic writers' list, posted a link to Mary Berry's "Problem Solvers" at The Berry Center.)

An excerpt from Wendell Berry's "The Record":

And my young friend says: “Have him speak this
into a recorder. It is precious, It should be saved.”
I know the panic of that wish to save
the vital knowledge of the old times, handed down,
for it is rising off the earth, fraying away
in the wind and the coming day.
As the machines come and the people go
the old names rise, chattering, and depart.

But knowledge of my own going into old time
tells me no. Because it must be saved,
do not tell it to a machine to save it.

Read the whole poem here, at The Berry Center.


The Poetry Friday round up is at Poetry For Children.


sarah said...

This is wonderful. But of course it is - Wendell Berry wrote it. I so much love his beautiful language and his wisdom.

Karen Edmisten said...

Me, too, Sarah. He is wonderful.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Yes, face to face rather than into a machine (but into a machine better than not at all?). Is StoryCorps the best of both worlds? I like Problem Solvers too.
Thanks for this, Karen.

Janet Wong said...

Yes: "stay and listen"! Thanks for the link to that terrific poem. When I visit schools, I read my poem "GongGong and Susie" and then encourage children to find an old person (or to "borrow one" from a friend, if need be) and to ask questions. What is the weirdest thing you ever ate? What did you do during the summer? Did you have pets? What was your first job? I tell them: "Turn your EARS into tape recorders and write down what you hear--just the way it's spoken."

Karen Edmisten said...

Yes, Heidi, I'd agree that into a machine is better than not at all. A record, some record.... Story Corps is very cool.

Janet, I love the mission you give to the kids!