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Showing posts from April, 2012

Shuddering: Wendell Berry and Maybelline

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A few weeks ago, The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor featured the poem "Goods" by Wendell Berry. In the poem, Berry writes about immemorial feelings, like hunger and thirst and loneliness and love. Then the poem opens for us, and we are suddenly grounded with the imagery of pastures, and the green growth of March, and of a team of Belgian mares.
It's the immemorial feelings
I like the best: hunger, thirst,
their satisfaction; work-weariness,
earned rest; the falling again
from loneliness to love;
the green growth the mind takes
from the pastures in March;
the gayety in the stride
of a good team of Belgian mares
that seems to shudder from me
through all my ancestry.

This is an intimate poem, allowing us a glimpse into Wendell Berry's life. Look closely at this photo and you'll see a team of horses in the background, hooked up to a furrow or a plow.  Berry, author of more than 40 books of poetry, fiction, and essays, has farmed a hillside in his na…