My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…
We forget the land we stand on
and live from. We set ourselves
free in an economy founded
on nothing, on greed verified
by fantasy, on which we entirely
depend. We depend on fire
that consumes the world without
lighting it. To this dark blaze
driving the inert metal
of our most high desire
we offer our land as fuel,
thus offering ourselves at last
to be burned. This is our riddle
to which the answer is a life
that none of us has lived.
From This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems published by Counterpoint Press. © Wendell Berry. Used by permission.
Wendell Berry is a beloved American writer, a novelist, poet, environmental activist, cultural critic and farmer. The author of more than 40 books, his most recent publications include: Distant Neighbors: The Selected Letters of Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder (Counterpoint), 2014; This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems (Counterpoint), 2013; and A Place in Time: Twenty Stories of the Port William Membership (Counterpoint), 2012. He lives with his wife, Tanya Berry, on their farm in Port Royal, Kentucky.
Please feel free to forward Split This Rock Poem of the Week widely. We just ask you to include all of the information in this email, including this request. Thanks!If you are interested in reading past poems of the week, feel free to visit the blog archive.