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This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems Hardcover – October 15, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Counterpoint; First Printing edition (October 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1619021986
  • ISBN-13: 978-1619021983
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Overwhelmingly, though, the poems in This Day reveal the life of a person who cares about his relationship to the earth and the human community…His poems, whether they soothe or jolt, inspire or move to responsible action, aim at keeping “kindness” and “kinship” alive in the world. That alone makes This Day a book well worth reading, on a Sabbath or any other day of the week."…Marginalia Review of Books

About the Author

Wendell Berry is the author of more than fifty books of poetry, fiction, and essays. He was recently awarded the National Humanities Medal, the Cleanth Brooks Medal for Lifetime Achievement by the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and the Louis Bromfield Society Award. For more than forty years he has lived and farmed with his wife, Tanya, in Kentucky.

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Customer Reviews

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His poetry is consummately thoughtful yet easy on the soul.
Neal Smyth
They invite us to go deeper into life's everyday moments as they steady us with Berry's evocative poetry.
Amazon Customer
Reading the poetry of Wendell Berry always brightens my day.
Skip Jackson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Lyle on October 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For 35 years Wendell Berry has been writing what he calls Sabbath Poems. They are crafted mostly outdoors; on-foot walking his beloved Kentucky hill farm on Sundays. He has published some of these in different poetry volumes, the first of which was A Timbered Choir (1979-97). Now, he has two new poetry collections. This one is dedicated solely to his Sabbath poems. The introduction is a beautiful essay on the importance of Sabbath.

I deeply enjoyed reading it on my `sabbath,' which for me is Monday because of my pastoral duties on Sunday. Here is his description of practicing the sabbath principle, and what can happen there - though not automatically, and not without attention and intention.

"In such places, on the best of these sabbath days, I experience a lovely freedom from expectations - other people's and also my own. I go free from the tasks and intentions of my workdays, and so my mind becomes hospitable to unintended thoughts: to what I am very willing to call inspiration. The poems come incidentally or they do not come at all. If the Muse leaves me alone, I leave her alone. To be quiet, even wordless, in a good place is a better gift than poetry."

When the first new collection came out without Sabbath Poems, I knew this would follow. It is a treasured companion!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on November 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Mark Twain once said that the difference between the "right" word and the "almost" right word is the difference between lightning and lightning bugs! Those familiar with his work already know that Berry excels in the precision of his language. This collection allows reader to track his evolving, deepening views over thirty-five years. His careful choice of words reflects his deep, spiritual insights about our destructive way in the world; and yet, these poems remain ultimately hopeful, illuminated from within. Not only a pleasure to read, these poems provide light to see one's own humanity.

Andrew Taylor-Troutman
Dublin, VA
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Neal Smyth on November 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wendell Berry has become one of my favorite authors. I've only read some of his earlier Sabbath poems before, and I'm looking forward to the new ones. The poems are what come to him on his solitary Sunday walks. A self-professed "bad weather church goer," he finds his peace and inspiration on these walks, and the Sabbath poems celebrate what he finds in his natural surroundings -- not just the farms, fields, woods and streams, but the 2-leggeds, 4-leggeds, fish and birds that share their homes with him. He presents his musings and insights imaginatively, softly and without a hint of pretense. His poetry is consummately thoughtful yet easy on the soul.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Darryl Willis on October 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I've not read this newest edition, but I discovered Wendell Berry's Sabbath Poems years ago in his 1987 edition of Sabbaths. These poems are beautifully structured and reminiscent of Robert Frost. His voice belongs to the canon of American literature of the 20th and 21st Centuries.

One cannot read these refreshing verses without being struck by Berry's theology: a truly Christian understanding of creation (something J. R. R. Tolkien would heartily endorse) and a celebration of sabbath rest--for humanity, flora, and fauna.

When I scrape a few dollars together, I will eagerly add this volume to my "Berry Collection"!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Miss Kale on November 22, 2013
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Classic, quality Wendell Berry. Very well worth your investment as it is a large collection. Perfect for small chunks of reading enjoyment. Personally, it just seems to elevate me as his work always tends to do.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Boyd Wilson on November 4, 2013
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Berry understands the deep meaning of land and life, challenging the values of industrial consumerism, gently encouraging those of us who care for the life of all humanity, all the planet, a century and more ahead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 2, 2014
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Timeless poems for living. They invite us to go deeper into life's everyday moments as they steady us with Berry's evocative poetry.
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The idea of “Sabbath” has always meant or implied rest. From its first recording in Genesis 1, through the conflicts described in the Gospels between Jesus and the Pharisees and teachers of law, right down to our more secular notions of “sabbatical,” rest has always been central in any discussion or understanding of “Sabbath.”

And so it is in Wendell Berry’s “This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems,” published in 2013 (and often paired with his “New Collected Poems” published earlier last year). Of course, with Berry, everything is of a piece. As he notes in his introduction, he spends traditional Sabbaths in the old family church, unless the weather is good, or even tolerable. Then he heads for the woods and fields near his home in Kentucky, and discovering the reality of the Sabbath (and perhaps worship) just as much as he does sitting in a pew. Perhaps more.

This is not the first time Berry has published a collection of Sabbath poetry. The heart of the new collection is poems from “A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems 1979-1997.”

You read a collection like “This Day,” and you quickly learn how critically important the idea is in the poet’s understanding of nature, the land, God, aging, humanity, industrial civilization, and agriculture. To read Berry’s fiction and essays is to read and gain insights into his poetry, and vice versa. His writing is consistent and whole, reflecting a philosophy and a faith stretching over decades of work.

Many of his Sabbath poems are mediations of what he understands as industrial civilization. As surprising as it might be, just below the surface of these poems lies anger directed at how much of community, nature, and relationships is sacrificed to greed.
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