A Sunday Poem – Wendell Berry on the End of Summer

I read this poem yesterday and thought it would be perfect today. Wendell Berry lives by the seasons – he is a farmer in Kentucky and is well-aligned with the turning of the earth. Here’s another poem from This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems.

The summer ends, and it is time
To face another way. Our theme
Reversed, we harvest the last row
To store against the cold, undo
The garden that will be undone.
We grieve under the weakened sun
To see all earth’s green fountains dried,
And fallen all the works of light.
You do not speak, and I regret
This downfall of the good we sought
As though the fault were mine. I bring
The plow to turn the shattering
Leaves and bent stems into the dark,
From which they may return. At work,
I see you leaving our bright land,
The last cut flowers in your hand.

We spent Saturday putting our gardens to bed. I know our little gardens are barely a fraction of what Mr. Berry works with, but I loved feeling a tiny bit of kinship with him yesterday. And we often get the same feeling – that we could have done more throughout the growing season. Luckily we don’t depend on our garden to keep our family afloat.

I just learned that there’s a film about Berry, called Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry. PBS showed it on Independent Lens and you might be able to watch it if you have the PBS Passport (I don’t). But it doesn’t look like it’s on Netflix or Amazon Prime right now, so maybe you could get a copy at your library? My library doesn’t have it and we don’t have a DVD player, but I’m determined to figure out how to watch it!

Enjoy your Sunday. I hope it’s exactly what you need.


6 thoughts on “A Sunday Poem – Wendell Berry on the End of Summer

Add yours

  1. Loved the poem! This poem was very fitting for us, we spent yesterday filling silo. Filling was early this year but the corn is drying down since it was so dry in August. Summer is drawing to an end whether I like it or not. I just have to change gears and enjoy the autumn. Autumn means the fall asters bloom and canning grape juice which fills the house with a lovely aroma. And then there is grape pie too! Have a lovely week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Grape pie?! That’s a new one for me 🙂

      I hope your harvest was successful. Summer must be crazy busy for you. I hope you can settle into some good books this fall!


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