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one more thing I'd like to be

I’m sure all of you good people out there are already familiar with this poem, but I came across it today having never read it before.  I think if I were going to resolve to do anything this year, it might just be the things he reminds me of, here…

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.

ii

Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.

iii

Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
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.

2 Comments

  1. love this poem…

    There are no unsacred places;
    there are only sacred places
    and desecrated places.

    brilliant.