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The “Art of Being Here”

The “Art of Being Here”

The Poetry

(p.237) Chapter 7 The “Art of Being Here”
The Achievement of Wendell Berry
Fritz Oehlschlaeger
University Press of Kentucky

This chapter provides a consideration of Wendell Berry's work as a poet, a task he has understood, in traditional terms, to be one of renewing the language. It specifically explores Berry's thoughts on the unspecializing of poetry; distinguishes his work from the so-called language poetry; draws out the rich analogies he traces between poetry, on the one hand, and other disciplines of the real like marriage and farming; and concludes with a look at the Sabbath poems in his two most recent volumes. The great liberty of the Sabbath, as stated by Berry's poems, is in God's gift and command of rest. Most importantly, poetry is, for Berry, the art of the particular and thus the art through which can be learnt the goodness and grace of being here.

Keywords:   Wendell Berry, language poetry, marriage, farming, Sabbath poems, God

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