"Openings" by Wendell Berry

 

| 📖 # 64 |

Title: Openings
Author: Wendell Berry
Start Date: 3/13/17
End Date: 4/3/17
# of Pages: 67
Edition: Harcourt paperback (1980)
ISBN: 9780156700122
Purchase: Amazon

Quick Take: contemplative

Why I Chose It: Wendell Berry's poetry resonates with me. I found this collection for $0.01 and it was a no brainer. I've read many of these before in other collections, but they are worth revisiting. Also, why do most people say $0.01 instead of 1¢?

Quotes: (1) excerpt from "The Thought of Something Else"

Another place!
it’s enough to grieve me—
that old dream of going,
of becoming a better man
just by getting up and going
to a better place.

(2) excerpt from "The Change"

...I'm exhausted
by the thought of all
the possibilities that are lost.

(3) excerpt from "In Memory: Stuart Egnal"

Fine hours. The sort men dream
of having, and of having had...

(4) excerpt from "The Want of Peace"

I lack the peace of simple things.
I am never wholly in place.
I find no peace or grace.
We sell the world to buy fire,
our way lighted by burning men,
and that has bent my mind
and made me think of darkness
and wish for the dumb life of roots.

(5) excerpt from "To a Siberian Woodsman"

Who has invented our enmity? Who has prescribed us hatred of each other? Who has armed us against each other with the death of the world? Who has appointed me such anger /
that I should desire the burning of your house or the destruction of your children? /
...Who has imagined /
that your death could be negligible to me now that I have seen
these pictures of your face?

(6) excerpt from "A Discipline"

It is the time's discipline to think
of the death of all living, and yet live.

(7) excerpt from "A Poem of Thanks"

I have been spared another day
to come into this night
as though there is a mercy in all things
mindful of me...

Other Notes: Other poems of note which I didn't quote above: "The Peace of Wild Things" and "Do Not Be Ashamed". I like Berry for his love of nature and the world, and his anti-industrialist hermitry. I'm not really anti-industry myself per se, but I appreciate his counter-perspective to unchecked progress, which he notes often comes at the expense of the gifts of natural beauty, peace, community, and some of the fundamental things which make us human. And he is from Kentucky.

 
BooksKarl Magnuson