“Berry has become ever more prophetic . . . In the Sabbaths of 2005–08 published here, Berry angrily mourns the degradation of the nation wrought by destruction of the land and the pursuit of wealth and power. He says that we must prepare to live without hope for a while, though in the very first of the Sabbaths, he prays not to lose love along with hope: ‘Help me, please, to carry / this candle against the wind.’ Despite anger and bitterness, he often recalls and teaches the beauty and propriety of creation, too. If he is a Jeremiah, he is also a David the psalmist.” —Booklist
No one writes like Wendell Berry. Whether essay, novel, story, or poem, his inimitable voice rings true, as natural as the land he has farmed in Kentucky for over 40 years.
Following the widely praised Given, this new collection offers a masterful blend of epigrams, elegies, lyrics, and letters, with the occasional short love poem. Alternately amused, outraged, and resigned, Berry’s welcome voice is the constant in this varied mix. The book concludes with a new sequence of Sabbath poems, works that have spawned from Berry’s Sunday morning walks of meditation and observation.
Berry’s themes are reflections of his life: friends, family, the farm, the nature around us as well as within. He speaks strongly for himself and sometimes for the lost heart of the country. As he has borne witness to the world for eight decades, what he offers us now in this collection of poems is of incomparable value.