Top 100

Top 450 Wendell Berry Quotes (2024 Update)
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Wendell Berry Quote: “As I did not know then but know now, the surface of the river is like a living soul, which is easy to disturb, is often disturbed, but, growing calm, shows what it was, is, and will be.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “A liberal education rests on the assumption that nature and human nature do not change very much or very fast and that one therefore needs to understand the past.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “I now suspect that if we work with machines the world will seem to us to be a machine, but if we work with living creatures the world will appear to us as a living creature.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Always in the big woods when you leave familiar ground and step off alone into a new place there will be, along with the feelings of curiosity and excitement, a little nagging of dread. It is the ancient fear of the Unknown, and it is your first bond with the wilderness you are going into.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “All we can do to prepare rightly for tomorrow is to do the right thing today.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Long live gravity! Long live stupidity, error, and greed in the palaces of fantasy capitalism!”
Wendell Berry Quote: “A man with a machine and inadequate culture is a pestilence.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “I lack the peace of simple things. I am never wholly in place. I find no peace or grace. We sell the world to buy fire, our way lighted by burning men...”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Time doesn’t stop. Your life doesn’t stop and wait until you get ready to start living it.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “We are far more concerned about the desecration of the flag than we are about the desecration of our land.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “It was the kind of winter day that makes you forget that the weather was ever any different, and you feel like it has been winter all the way back to Adam.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “And so you have a life that you are living only now, now and now and now, gone before you can speak of it, and you must be thankful for living day by day, moment by moment a life in the breath and pulse and living light of the present.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “All the episodes from my stories and novels are not about food only, but about meals. You can eat food by yourself. A meal, according to my understanding anyhow, is a communal event, bringing together family members, neighbors, even strangers. At its most ordinary, it involves hospitality, giving, receiving, and gratitude.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “It’s mighty hard right now to think of anything that’s precious that isn’t endangered. There are no sacred and unsacred places; there are only sacred and desecrated places. My belief is that the world and our life in it are conditional gifts.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “It’s the impeded stream that sings.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The presence of the present has become insistent, undeniable, and I dare not look away.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “When you are new at sheep-raising and your ewe has a lamb, your impulse is to stay there and help it nurse and see to it and all. After a while you know that the best thing you can do is walk out of the barn.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Reverence makes it possible to be whole, though ignorant. It is the wholeness of understanding.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “True solitude is found in the wild places, where one is without human obligation... In consequence, one responds more clearly to other lives. The more coherent one becomes within oneself as a creature, the more fully one enters into the communion of all creatures.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The damages of our present agriculture all come from the determination to use the life of the soil as if it were an extractable resource like coal.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “There is, in practice, no such thing as autonomy. Practically, there is only a distinction between responsible and irresponsible dependence.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The interaction, the interdependence, of life and death, which in nature is the source of an inexhaustible fecundity, is the basis of a set of analogies, to which agriculture and the rest of the human economy must conform in order to endure, and which is ultimately religious...”
Wendell Berry Quote: “We don’t know how to use energy or what to use it for. And we cannot restrain ourselves. Our time is characterized as much by the abuse and waste of human energy as it is by the abuse and waste of fossil fuel energy.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “People talk about “job creation,” as if that had ever been the aim the industrial economy. The aim was to replace people with machines.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “I have always loved a window, especially an open one.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Rats and roaches live by competition under the law of supply and demand; it is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy. It is impossible not to notice how little the proponents of the ideal of competition have to say about honesty, which is the fundamental economic virtue, and how very little they have to say about community, compassion, and mutual help.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “One of the most important resources that a garden makes available for use, is the gardener’s own body. A garden gives the body the dignity of working in its own support. It is a way of rejoining the human race.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “You think winter will never end, and then, when you don’t expect it, when you have almost forgotten it, warmth comes and a different light.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “You can’t live entirely alone. You have to have some kind of a support system.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Our understandable wish to preserve the planet must somehow be reduced to the scale of our competence – that is to wish to preserve all of its humble house – holds and neighbourhoods.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The only time I’ve been arrested was in opposing the Marble Hill nuclear power plant in Indiana. That was in 1979.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “As industrial technology advances and enlarges, and in the process assumes greater social, economic, and political force, it carries people away from where they belong by history, culture, deeds, association, and affection.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Monsanto doesn’t care about feeding the world. We have to think about the wage slavery of migrant workers and salary slavery of those who are desperately unhappy.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The acquisition of knowledge always involves the revelation of ignorance-almost is the revelation of ignorance.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The river, the river itself, leaves marks but bears none. It is only water flowing in a path that other water has worn.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “There’s nothing under the ground that’s worth more than the little layer of topsoil sitting on top of it.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “American agriculture is badly in need of diversity. Another threat to the food system of course is the likelihood that petroleum is not going to get any cheaper.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Oikonomia is the science or art of efficiently producing, distributing, and maintaining concrete use values for the household and community over the long run. Chrematistics is the art of maximizing the accumulation by individuals of abstract exchange value in the form of money in the short run.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “So friends, every day do something that won’t compute.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “But this is not the story of a life. It is the story of lives, knit together, overlapping in succession, rising again from grave after grave.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The primary motive for good care and good use of the land-community is always going to be affection, which is too often lacking.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Why must the gate be narrow? Because you cannot pass beyond it burdened. To come in among these trees you must leave behind the six days’ world, all of it, all of its plans and hopes. You must come without weapon or tool, alone, expecting nothing, remembering nothing, into the ease of sight, the brotherhood of eye and leaf.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “There are not enough rich and powerful people to consume the whole world; for that, the rich and powerful need the help of countless ordinary people.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “People who want to see the beauty of nature from motorboats and automobiles would obviously be just as pleased, and as fully recreated, at a drive-in movie.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The trouble was the familiar one: too much power, too little knowledge.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Having hope is hard; harder when you get older.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “In living in the world by his own will and skill, the stupidest peasant or tribesman is more competent than the most intelligent worker or technician or intellectual in a society of specialists.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The approach of a man’s life out of the past is history, and the approach of time out of the future is mystery. Their meeting is the present, and it is consciousness, the only time life is alive.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “He loved the woods, where it seemed to him that every life was secret, including his own.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “If the devil doesn’t exist... how do you explain that some people are a lot worse than they’re smart enough to be?”
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