I’m back today to celebrate National Poetry Month! I have a handful of blogger friends who are sharing poetry on Thursdays this month (Kat, Sarah, Bonny, and Kym) and this week they wrote about new beginnings. I’m following their lead and sharing two short Wendell Berry poems about Spring.

Can I see the buds that are swelling
in the woods on the slopes
on the far side of the valley? I can’t,
of course, nor can I see
the twinleafs and anemones
that are blooming over there
bright-scattered above the dead
leaves. But the swelling buds
and little blossoms make
a new softness in the light
that is visible all the way here.
The trees, the hills that were stark
in the old cold become now
tender, and time changes.

This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems

Here in New Hampshire, our trees are just budding and this poem felt like a lovely way to settle into this new season. When I look out towards the river at sunrise – right at about now, as I’m typing this – I can see the trees across the hill springing back to life. It’s visible all the way here – perfection!

The sounds of engines leave the air.
The Sunday morning silence comes
at last. At last I know the presence
of the world made without hands,
the creatures that have come to be
out of their absence. Calls
of flicker and jay fill the clear
air. Titmice and chickadees feed
among the green and the dying leaves.
Gratitude for the gifts of all the living
and the unliving, gratitude which is
the greatest gift, quietest of all,
passes to me through the trees.

This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems

This poem caught my attention because we spend everyday watching the chickadees and titmice and calling back to the bluejays soaring from tree to tree, jay! jay! jay! His attention to gratitude, which I try to practice every day and share in my Full of Joy posts, resonates with me as well.

Maybe one day I’ll finish this book of poetry and move on to something else, but I’m really enjoying this slow meander through the woods with Berry. I’ve been picking away at this book, just a poem or two at a time, for at least a year and I’m so grateful for it.

4 thoughts

  1. I’ve never been a poetry fan but I am enjoying these poems you’ve shared from Wendell Berry. Maybe I’ll get a book from the library and browse through it. Have a peaceful Sunday!

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    1. Gretchen, I think you’d really like Wendell Berry. He’s a farmer in Kentucky and writes beautifully about the lives of farmers. I also think you’d enjoy the novel Hannah Coulter, which he also wrote.

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  2. I love these poems — but then I think I’m predisposed to like any poem about the coming of spring because it’s one of my favorite times of year! I don’t know if there are more birds out there or I’m just noticing them more, but I’ve been spotting birds other than the usual sparrows and robins. Lots of bluejays, a few woodpeckers (including one who’s really dumb because he keeps pecking at the fiberglass utility pole in our backyard), and even some tufted titmice!

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  3. Hannah Coulter is my favorite of Wendell Berry’s books. He is such a thoughtful writer. I have Jayber Crow on my shelf, waiting to be read. Thanks for sharing his poetry!

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