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Paperback Book
Shoemaker & Hoard
April, 2006
$21.00 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

 Given is Wendell Berry’s first book of new poems in 10 years. As noted in the New York Times Book Review, “Berry’s straightforward search for a life connected to the soil, for marriage as a sacrament, affirms a style that is resonant with the authentic.”

The question before me, now that I

am old, is not how to be dead,

which I know from enough practice,

but how to be alive, as these worn

hills still tell, and some paintings

of Paul Cézanne, and this mere

singing wren, who thinks he’s alive

forever, this instant, and may be.

For the past 25 years Wendell Berry has been at work on “The Sabbath Poems,” resulting from his Sunday morning walks of meditation and observation in the hills around his farm in Kentucky. Poems from the years 1998 to 2004 of these walks are included in Given. Also featured is “Sonata at Payne Hollow,” a play in verse that is a startling evocation of the lives of the painters Harlan and Anna Hubbard. The other half includes shorter occasional pieces, from political poems to folk sayings, love poems to celebrations. In “In a Country Once Forested,” he writes:

The young woodland remembers

the old, a dreamer dreaming

of an old holy book,

an old set of instructions,

and the soil under the grass

is dreaming of a young forest,

and under the pavement the soil

is dreaming of grass.

Wendell Berry is a writer whose imagination is grounded by the pastures of his chosen place and the rooms and porches of his family’s home.  His work is one of devotion, to family and community, to the earth and her creatures, to the memories of the past and the hope of the future.

Among Wendell Berry’s other books are The Citizenship Papers and Art of the Commonplace.

Publisher’s Description: 

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