Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Poem

How to Be a Poet
by Wendell Berry

(to remind myself)

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 work,
doubt their judgment.

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.

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.


  1. thanks for this, E. It reminds me of another sage of the creative process, Rilke, whose "Letters To A Young Poet" has helped me so much....

  2. yes yes!! i just saved this poem as a reminder. "of the little words that come out of silence, like prayers" beautiful and so very true. i love wendall berry.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...