Top 100

Top 450 Wendell Berry Quotes (2024 Update)
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Wendell Berry Quote: “Without prosperous local economies, the people have no power and the land no voice.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “I think the issues of identity mostly are poppycock. We are what we have done, which includes our promises, includes our hopes, but promises first.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The two great aims of industrialism – replacement of people by technology and concentration of wealth into the hands of a small plutocracy – seem close to fulfillment.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Corn and bean people, I’m afraid, have extremely specialized minds.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “We need better government, no doubt about it. But we also need better minds, better friendships, better marriages, better communities.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “A farmer’s market is worth more than everything I’ve written.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “It’s impossible to contemplate the life of soil very long without seeing its analogy to the life of the spirit.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “It is certain, I think, that the best government is the one that governs the least. But there is a much-neglected corollary: the best citizen is the one who least needs governing.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “We can fight the global economy with a strong local economy.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “One cannot be aware both of the history of Christian war and of the contents of the gospels without feeling that something is amiss.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Geese appear high over us, pass, and the sky closes. Abandon, as in love or sleep, holds them to their way, clear in the ancient faith: what we need is here. And we pray, not for new earth or heaven, but to be quiet in heart, and in eye, clear. What we need is here.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “If we do not serve what coheres and endures, we serve what disintegrates and destroys.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “We must learn to acknowledge that the creation is full of mystery; we will never entirely understand it. We must abandon arrogance and stand in awe. We must recover the sense of the majesty of creation, and the ability to be worshipful in its presence. For I do not doubt that it is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “New grief, when it came, you could feel filling the air. It took up all the room there was. The place itself, the whole place, became a reminder of the absence of the hurt or the dead or the missing one. I don’t believe that grief passes away. It has its time and place forever. More time is added to it; it becomes a story within a story. But grief and griever alike endure.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The language that reveals also obscures.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “We are living in the most destructive and, hence, the most stupid period of the history of our species.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “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 Quote: “Urban conservationists may feel entitled to be unconcerned about food production because they are not farmers. But they can’t be let off so easily, for they are all farming by proxy.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The good of the whole of Creation, the world and all its creatures together, is never a consideration because it is never thought of; our culture now simply lacks the means for thinking of it.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Our obsession with security is a measure of the power we have granted the future to hold over us.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Beware the machinery of longevity. When a man’s life is over the decent thing is for him to die. The forest does not withhold itself from death. What it gives up it takes back.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Not just self-restraint, that old killjoy, but communal restraint.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “To mind being disliked by a woman you don’t desire and are not married to is yet another serious failure of common sense.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Waking up from a dream of violence is much the same as waking up from a dream of love. You must go on living your life.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “We are living even now among punishments and ruins.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “No wonder so many sermons are devoted exclusively to “spiritual” subjects. If one is living by the tithes of history’s most destructive economy, then the disembodiment of the soul becomes the chief of worldly conveniences.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Action can only be understood in relation to place; only by staying in place can the imagination conceive or understand action in terms of consequence, of cause and effect. The meaning of action in time is inseparable from its meaning in place.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Explanation changes whatever is explained into something explainable.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Hunger is a powerful persuader if it happens, and it’s conceivable that it could happen. Country people have always known this.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Let us have the candor to acknowledge that what we call “the economy” or “the free market” is less and less distinguishable from warfare.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The tractor’s arrival had signaled, among other things, agriculture’s shift from an almost exclusive dependence on free solar energy to a total dependence on costly fossil fuel.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “I don’t think I had even begun to have an idea where I was going, but wherever it was, that was where I wanted to go.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “It would take me years of reading, thought, and experience to learn again that in this world limits are not only inescapable but indispensable.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “That we should have an agriculture based as much on petroleum as the soil-that we need petroleum exactly as much as we need food and must have it before we can eat-may seem absurd. It is absurd. It is nevertheless true.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The only true and effective “operator’s manual for spaceship earth” is not a book that any human will ever write; it is hundreds of thousands of local cultures.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The world is whole beyond human knowing.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Why should anybody wait to do what is right until everybody does it? It is not ‘significant’ to love your own children or to eat your own dinner, either. But normal humans will not wait to love or eat until it is mandated by an act of Congress.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The connections between people and land are dangerously oversimplified and mainly technological.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Give your approval to all you cannot understand.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “What leads to peace is not violence but peaceableness, which is not passivity, but an alert, informed, practiced, and active state of being.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “There is no sense and no sanity in objecting to the desecration of the flag while tolerating and justifying and encouraging as a daily business the desecration of the country for which it stands.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “To defend what we love we need a particularizing language, for we love what we particularly know.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The ability to speak exactly is intimately related to the ability to know exactly.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The old and honorable idea of ‘vocation’ is simply that we each are called, by God, or by our gifts, or by our preference, to a kind of good work for which we are particularly fitted.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “After a while, though the grief did not go away from us, it grew quiet. What had seemed a storm wailing through the entire darkness seemed to come in at last and lie down.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “We can make ourselves whole only by accepting our partiality, by living within our limits, by being humans not by trying to be gods.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “When I think of the meaning of food, I always remember these lines by the poet William Carlos Williams, which seem to me merely honest: There is nothing to eat, seek it where you will, but of the body of the Lord. The blessed plants and the sea, yield it to the imagination intact.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “All goes back to the earth, and so I do not desire pride of excess or power, but the contentments made by men who have had little: the fisherman’s silence receiving the river’s grace, the gardener’s musing on rows...”
Wendell Berry Quote: “I have thrown away my lantern, and I can see the dark.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “When going back makes sense, you are going ahead.”
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