Always disappearing, always returning…

wendellmad farmer

April is National Poetry Month, and for the Rocky Mountain Land Library, there’s no better way to mark the occasion than to share one of our favorite passages from Wendell Berry’s The Mad Farmer Poems.

As Wendell writes, “The joke of the Mad Farmer Poems is that in a society gone insane with industrial greed & insecurity, a man exuberantly sane will appear to be ‘mad.’

from The Mad Farmer, Flying the Flag of Rough Branch, Secedes from the Union:

Come into the life of the body, the one body
granted to you in all the history of time.
Come into the body’s economy, its daily work,
and its replenishment at mealtimes and at night
Come into the body’s thanksgiving, when it knows
and acknowledges itself a living soul.
Come into the dance of the community, joined
in a circle, hand in hand, the dance of the eternal
love of women and men for one another
and of neighbors and friends for one another.

Always disappearing, always returning,
calling his neighbors to return, to think again
of the care of flocks and herds, of gardens
and fields, of woodlots and forests and the uncut groves,
calling them separately and together, calling and calling,
he goes forever toward the long restful evening
and the croak of the night heron over the river at dark.

As you might have guessed, the Land Library has a full collection of Wendell Berry’s poetry, fiction and essays. His work inspires all we do! Here’s a few poetry volumes from our shelves:

Three by Wendell Berry: Farming: A Handbook, Window Poems, A Timbered Choir
March 2, 2011 — Wendell Berry receives a National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama, awarded “for his achievements as a poet, novelist, farmer, and conservationist.”

For more on Wendell Berry’s life & work, you can check out the Poetry Foundation‘s excellent website!


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