Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Poetic Thursday--Wendell Berry (and a thank you)

I am so, so very grateful for all of your comments in my last post. I need to think about them, and savor them, and craft responses. Just hearing your stories, seeing you all survive and thrive--it helps so much. Thank you.

For Poetry Thursday this week, I went hunting for some inspiration. Here is the soul food that I found.

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
Wendell Berry
Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.

And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.

When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.

Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.

Listen to carrion -- put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.

Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.

As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go.

Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Marilyn said...

Now THAT is a manifesto! Thank you so much for sharing it. I'm going to re-read it...about 10 times. :)

8:07 AM, March 30, 2006  
Blogger andrea said...

Fantastic!! I read every word, eagerly ready to taste the next. Excellent choice.
a.

9:08 AM, March 30, 2006  
Blogger la vie en rose said...

i love it...and that ending...practice resurrection...is incredible.

1:10 PM, March 30, 2006  
Blogger GreenishLady said...

I read it aloud. This is a powerful, beautiful piece. A manifesto, an anthem. Wonderful. Thank you

1:39 PM, March 30, 2006  
Blogger pinkcoyote said...

what a good one. i love the line "love someone who does not deserve it". this goes along with what liz at be present, be here posted about last week. why does this message keep coming to me...i can think of many i need to give some compassion to. thank you. i hope you are feeling better!

1:47 PM, March 30, 2006  
Blogger tara dawn said...

This is AMAZING! I am so grateful that you shared this...the raw truth of it is invigorating.

4:34 PM, March 30, 2006  
Blogger Bohemian Girl said...

marvelous manifesto!

i loved it all...but this line in particular put a grin on my face:

"So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men."

nice. ;-)

10:12 PM, March 30, 2006  
Blogger Sky said...

Powerful indeed! Now let me run back for another read!

1:12 AM, March 31, 2006  
Blogger megg said...

I absolutely love this poem! I have it written inside several previous journals. Love it. thanks for sharing it here. It is really incredible!

4:08 PM, March 31, 2006  

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