Mar 17 2017

Wendell Berry – A Spiritual Journey

Published by at 9:09 am under Poetry

A Spiritual Journey
by Wendell Berry

And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles,
no matter how long,
but only by a spiritual journey,
a journey of one inch,
very arduous and humbling and joyful,
by which we arrive at the ground at our feet,
and learn to be at home.

— from The Collected Poems of Wendell Berry, 1957-1982, by Wendell Berry


/ Image by LittleLottexo /

I keep returning to the poetry of Wendell Berry. Few writers these days are truly willing to be still and to befriend the world of growing things outside the city limits. In the modern world, that’s practically blasphemy. Writers like that get labeled “poet” and “crank” so they can be safely ignored — unless their writing is unavoidably good. Wendell Berry’s words are like that.

Unfortunately for the hyperactive world, Wendell Berry’s poetry is filled with the presence and heart secretly craved by us all, making it difficult to ignore.

And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles,
no matter how long…

Have a beautiful, restful weekend. Me, I will be wrapped in blankets recovering from the flu. (Sniffle. Cough.)


Recommended Books: Wendell Berry

The Collected Poems of Wendell Berry, 1957-1982 Given: Poems Selected Poems of Wendell Berry A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems 1979-1997 The Mad Farmer Poems
More Books >>


Wendell Berry, Wendell Berry poetry, Secular or Eclectic poetry Wendell Berry

US (1934 – )
Secular or Eclectic

More poetry by Wendell Berry

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Wendell Berry – A Spiritual Journey”

  1. OlgaETon 17 Mar 2017 at 9:49 am

    Thank you Ivan, for this very apropos poem; hope you feel better soon. It was only the other day I read a couple of lines by G. K. Chesterton who wrote ” the purpose of all journey is to come home”. And to paraphrase R. Frost, some of us have miles to go before we can sleep as we still have promises to keep. It is only then that we can realize the world is already at our feet….

  2. Karen Mon 17 Mar 2017 at 11:33 am

    ‘one inch’ – a phrase used in Daoist spirituality as well, and very powerful!

    Thank you for sharing this poem, ivan, and also for your commentary.

  3. jim carlinon 17 Mar 2017 at 11:36 am

    sorry you’re ill

    when I feel I’m dying with the flu
    I turn-whisper in his ear
    “if you’ll let me live–i’ll pass you on to a friend”
    I lie a lot

  4. Carolon 19 Mar 2017 at 4:59 am

    Good morning Ivan,

    Thank you for this Wendell Berry poem. I have a case of the flu, more stomach and
    GI track related. Sorry you are sick – your solution sounds wonderful. Love Wendell]s
    poem, your Thought for the Day and commentary. I will continue with my’ sleep
    cure’ – made possible with all these good thoughts! (smile) Carol

  5. Ivan M. Grangeron 19 Mar 2017 at 7:39 am

    You too, get well. Rest, tea… and poetry.

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