214 – Poetry – Intention on the Spiritual Journey

I have a number of friends who enjoy the novels, essays, and poems of Wendell Berry.  I came across this poem recently –

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.
Source: Poetry (January 2001).


Does his poem offer you any hints on how to be a poet?

How to write?

How to nurture your spirit?

How to approach spiritual practices?

What silence offers?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *