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A Small Porch

Sabbath Poems 2014

List Price: $16.95

ON SALE: April 11, 2017 | Paperback | 5 x 8, 80 Pages | ISBN 9781619029422

More than thirty-five years ago, Wendell Berry began spending his sabbaths outdoors when the weather allowed, walking and wandering around familiar territory, seeking a deep intimacy only time could provide. These walks sometimes yielded poems. Every year since he has completed a series of these poems, dated by the year of its composition. Two years ago, we collected the lot into a collection, This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems 1979–2013.

This new series for the following year is one of the richest yet. This group provides a virtual syllabus for all of Mr. Berry’s cultural and agricultural work in concentrated form. Many of these poems, a sequence at mid-year, were written on a small porch in the woods, a place of stillness and reflection, a vantage point “of the one/life of the forest composed/of uncountable lives in countless/years, each life coherent itself within/the coherence, the great composure,/of all.”

WENDELL BERRY has written more than fifty books. He lives and farms with his wife, Tanya Berry, in Henry County, Kentucky. In addition to the National Humanities Medal in 2010, and being named to deliver The Jefferson Lecture in 2012, the nation’s highest honor for intellectual achievement, the Center for Food Safety has just given Mr. Berry its first annual American Food & Farming Award.

Praise

“[Berry’s] essays, poetry and fiction have fertilized a crop of great solace in my life, and helped to breed a healthy flock of good manners, to boot. As I travel this unlikely road of opportunity, as a woodworker and writer, sure, but most often as a jackass, I have his writings upon which to fix my mind and my heart, to keep my life’s errant wagon between the ditches, as it were. Mr. Berry’s sentences and stories deliver a great payload of edifying entertainment, which I hungrily consume, but it is the bass note of morality thumping through his musical phrases that guides me with the most constant of hands upon my plow.” —Nick Offerman, New York Times bestselling author of Paddle Your Own Canoe

“Berry’s craftsmanship remains impeccable. Few other poets have such chaste and precise diction or manage line and stanza with such unaffected serenity.” —Booklist

“Thoreau would be gratified . . . Here are Sabbath Poems that praise the given life.”—Lexington Herald-Leader

“[Berry’s poems] shine with a gentle wisdom of a craftsman who has thought deeply about the paradoxical strangeness and wonder of life.” —The Christian Science Monitor

“Wendell Berry is one of those rare individuals who speaks to us always of responsibility, of the individual cultivation of an active and aware participation in the arts of life, be they those of composing a poem, preparing a hill for planting, raising a family, working for the good of oneself and one’s neighbors, loving.” —The Bloomsbury Review

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