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Monday, 7 January 2008

A probing and peaceful voice


I have just discovered the peaceful yet probing poetry of Wendell Berry, the Kentucky farmer, essayist, novelist and social critic.

His collection, A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems 1979-1997 is written in a distinctive voice that is both peaceful and probing. He is an eco-theologian informed deeply by the Psalms and close observance of his own farm and the woods and fileds of his native Kuntucky. Consider the following:
VI
What stood will stand, though all be fallen,
The good return that time has stolen.
though creatures groan in misery,
Their flesh prefigures liberty.
To end travail and bring to birth,
Their new perfection in new earth.
At word of that enlivening
Let the trees of the woods all sing
and every field rejoice, let praise
Rise up out of the ground like grass.
What stood whole, in every piecemeal
Thing that stood, will stand though all
Fall - field and woods and all in them
Rejoin the primal Sabbath hymn.

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