To read an excerpt from the book, please click on the following link:

Monday, December 15, 2014

Such Times In Which We Live, and Wendell Berry

I am saddened beyond measure by the news, the chaos, prejudice, racism, violence, fear.  I am heartened by the untold thousands willing to protest, risking life and limb to do so.  I grew up in the sixties and seventies, and remember well the assasination of Kennedy (one of my first indelible memories), Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy. I remember segregation, and the racism within my own family.  The plight is unending; the plight is something against which every human being must exert vigilance and courage, as long as we all have breath.

Sometimes, as a writer, I wonder what good my words might ever do.  This is especially true for poetry.  Poetry is meant, ultimately, to be a balm for the world, or an illumination, a reminder of everything good, bad, shadowy, lightful, and all of this woven from sheer language, like the most wonderful alchemy.  I lost my way as a poet for many years, for various reasons.

Part of my recovery as a poet is to read other poets again; right now I am reading as much of Wendell Berry's work.  Berry is an activist, a farmer, a family man, a brilliant writer, a man with great moral courage (yes, I repeat this a lot, but I am beginning to think that the development of true moral courage is probably one of the goals of my life).  His Wikipedia biography is well-written and worth a read:

Wendell Berry

Here is Berry during an interview with Bill Moyers; Berry reads, "A Poem on Hope."