Wendell Berry Quotes

As soon as the generals and the politicos can predict the motions of your mind, lose it. Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn't go. Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry

Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.

Wendell Berry

Ask the questions that have no answers. Invest in the millenium.

Wendell Berry

The poem is important, but not more than the people whose survival it serves...

Wendell Berry

Let me say and not mourn: the world lives in the death of speech and sings there.

Wendell Berry

Sit and be still until in the time of no rain you hear beneath the dry wind's commotion in the trees the sound of flowing water among the rocks, a stream unheard before, and you are where breathing is prayer.

Wendell Berry

A mind that has confronted ruin for years Is half or more a ruined mind.

Wendell Berry

Ask the world to reveal its quietude not the silence of machines when they are still, but the true quiet by which birdsongs, trees, bellworts, snails, clouds, storms become what they are, and are nothing else.

Wendell Berry

The ability to speak exactly is intimately related to the ability to know exactly.

Wendell Berry

To farm is to be placed absolutely.

Wendell Berry

The most insistent and formidable concern of agriculture, wherever it is taken seriously, is the distinct individuality of every farm, every field on every farm, every farm family, and every creature on every farm.

Wendell Berry

A corporation, essentially, is a pile of money to which a number of persons have sold their moral allegiance. Unlike a person, a corporation does not age. It does not arrive, as most persons finally do, at a realization of the shortness and smallness of human lives; it does not come to see the future as the lifetime of the children and grandchildren of anybody in particular.

Wendell Berry

It is useless to try to adjudicate a long-standing animosity by asking who started it or who is the most wrong. The only sufficient answer is to give up the animosity and try forgiveness, to try to love our enemies and to talk to them and (if we pray) to pray for them. If we can't do any of that, then we must begin again by trying to imagine our enemies' children who, like our children, are in mortal danger because of enmity that they did not cause.

Wendell Berry

We are disposed, somewhat by culture and somewhat by nature, to solve our problems by violence, and even to enjoy doing so. And yet by now all of us must at least have suspected that our right to live, to be free, and to be at peace is not guaranteed by any act of violence. It can be guaranteed only by our willingness that all other persons should live, be free, and be at peace and by our willingness to use or give our own lives to make that possible.

Wendell Berry

Let us have the candor to acknowledge that what we call the economy or the free market is less and less distinguishable from warfare. For about half of the last century, we worried about world conquest by international communism. Now with less worry (so far) we are witnessing world conquest by international capitalism. Though its political means are milder (so far) than those of communism, this newly internationalized capitalism may prove even more destructive of human cultures and communities, of freedom, and of nature. Its tendency is just as much toward total dominance and control.

Wendell Berry

What could be more absurd, to begin with, than our attitude of high moral outrage against other nations for manufacturing the selfsame weapons that we manufacture? The difference, as our leaders say, is that we will use these weapons virtuously, whereas our enemies will use them maliciously a proposition that too readily conforms to a proposition of much less dignity: we will use them in our interest, whereas our enemies will use them in theirs.

Wendell Berry
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