This journal focuses on the art, history, culture, and wildlands of the northern Big Sur coast. Periodic entries and documents appear at random here.



This area does not yet contain any content.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« Looking for Al Clarke again... | Main | Not the asphalt ribbon of a highway... »

Wendell Berry: "How To Be a Poet"


"How To Be a Poet"

By Wendell Berry 

(to remind myself)


Make a place to sit down.   
Sit down. Be quiet.   
You must depend upon   
affection, reading, knowledge,   
skill—more of each   
than you have—inspiration,   
work, growing older, patience,   
for patience joins time   
to eternity. Any readers   
who like your poems,   
doubt their judgment.   


Breathe with unconditional breath   
the unconditioned air.   
Shun electric wire.   
Communicate slowly. Live   
a three-dimensioned life;   
stay away from screens.   
Stay away from anything   
that obscures the place it is in.   
There are no unsacred places;   
there are only sacred places   
and desecrated places.   


Accept what comes from silence.   
Make the best you can of it.   
Of the little words that come   
out of the silence, like prayers   
prayed back to the one who prays,   
make a poem that does not disturb   
the silence from which it came.

Reader Comments (2)

i am so delighted with your Site.
Every time I check in, my heart seems to open a bit more.
First with Knowing
Sarhenaruc in my bones,
then with words of grace and pictures with perspectives
that embrace me.
thank you.

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjeanne

Dear Jeanne,

I always feel so grateful for you. I still can't quite imagine how it happened — that I'd be given a friend like you to teach me how to be here. And now, no matter what I'm doing, I think of you and feel you nearby. This place knows you in its bones in the same way you know it. And that won't change.

Much love,

April 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChris

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>