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Leavings: Poems Paperback – April 1, 2011
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1. How much poison are you willing
to eat for the success of the free
market and global trade? Please
name your preferred poisons.
2. For the sake of goodness, how much
evil are you willing to do?
Fill in the following blanks
with the names of your favorite
evils and acts of hatred.
3. What sacrifices are you prepared
to make for culture and civilization?
Please list the monuments, shrines,
and works of art you would
most willingly destroy.
4. In the name of patriotism and
the flag, how much of our beloved
land are you willing to desecrate?
List in the following spaces
the mountains, rivers, towns, farms
you could most readily do without.
5. State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes,
the energy sources, the kinds of security,
for which you would kill a child.
Name, please, the children whom
you would be willing to kill.
"Suppose we did our work
like the snow, quietly, quietly,
leaving nothing out."
That's how I envision Wendell Berry composing Leavings: Poems.
His curiosity about cosmic origins wonders how what banged in the Big Bang and what chance had to do with it: "As if
That tied up ignorance with a ribbon."
His ever-present environmental conscience asks the Garden Club,
"But why not play it cool? Why not survive
By Nature's laws that still keep us alive?"
"The garden delves no deeper than its roots
And lifts no higher than its leaves and fruits."
His reverence for God he demonstrates when he pleads,
"I have no love
except it come from Thee.
Help me, please, to carry
this candle against the wind."
He celebrates the sanctity of life and says, "The body
is a single creature, whole"...
And he "craves the wholeness of the world" too.
He celebrates nature, claiming,
"You see the rainbow and the new-leafed
woods bright beneath, you see
the otters playing in the river".
He reminds us that, in many ways, we are the spiritual authors of our circumstances: "When people make
dark the light within them, the world darkens."
He gives us dire economics lessons:
"We forget the land we stand on
and live from. We set ourselves
free in an economy founded
on nothing, on greed verified".
He also has a word about verse.
"Poems, do not raise your voice.
Be a whisper that says, 'There!' "
That too is what Wendell Berry does in LEAVINGS: POEMS.
Enjoy the serenity, the wisdom, and sparks of lamentation and indignation that nevertheless dash from the whispers.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
His passion for the earth and its creatures is made clear in this beautiful collection of work. He has a clear defined sense of space while marveling at how we best destroy it. Read morePublished 4 months ago by joyintheend
This book is incredible. As the years have gone on, Wendell Berry's poems have only strengthened in their clarity, poignancy, and power. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Tyler G
Like many of his essays on environmentalism and sustainability, Wendell Berry’s collection of poems Leavings advocates for a more thoughtful relationship between mankind and the... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Katrina A Jensen
I wanted my own copy after using my friend's.
Read the poems about marriage, they are full of deep truths as I felt when my wife of 44 years died.
It's no surprise that Wendell Berry dedicated "Leavings," this beautiful and limpid book of poems, to his close friend, the late John Haines. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Miles D. Moore
A beautiful and thoughtful gathering of poetry. This is a book I will often pick up and enjoy, a morning meditation.Published 23 months ago by Simone Lipscomb