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Wendell Berry Quotes
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Wendell Berry Quote: “If you can read and have more imagination than a doorknob, what need do you have for a ‘movie version’ of a novel?”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The form of a poem is invisible. A poem is not an “object.” This is hard to accept in a mechanical age.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Perhaps all the good that ever has come here has come because people prayed it into the world.”
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: “We must see that it is foolish, sinful and suicidal to destroy the health of nature for the sake of an economy that is really not an economy at all but merely a financial system, one that is unnatural, undemocratic, sacrilegious, and ephemeral.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “So it is that the life force may take possession of a man – so that in the end he may be possessed by something greater, no longer at all belonging to himself.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “When there are enough people on the land to use it but not enough to husband it, then the wildness of the soil that we call fertility begins to diminish, and the soil itself begins to flee from us in water and wind.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The shoddy work of despair, the pointless work of pride, equally betray Creation. They are wastes of life.”
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: “It is easy for me to imagine that the next great division of the world will be between people who wish to live as creatures and people who wish to live as machines.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Novelty is a new kind of loneliness.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “But a man with a machine and inadequate culture – such as I was when I made my pond – is a pestilence. He shakes more than he can hold.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Some of the best things I have ever thought of I have thought of during bad sermons.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “What could be more superstitious than the idea that money brings forth food?”
Wendell Berry Quote: “There are lots of bad things that can happen to a food economy that’s both extensive and centralized. There’s no substitute for petroleum. To have a growth economy based on a declining fuel supply is bound to be stressful.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “I’d had the idea, once, that if I could get the chance before I died I would read all the good books there were. Now I began to see that I wasn’t apt to make it. This disappointed me, for I really wanted to read them all. But it consoled me in a way too; I could see that if I got them all read and had no more surprises in that line, I would have been sorry.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The uplands of my home country in north central Kentucky are sloping and easily eroded, dependent for safekeeping upon year-round cover of perennial plants.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “I know that I have life only insofar as I have love. I have no love except it come from Thee. Help me, please, to carry this candle against the wind.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “I began to know my story then. Like everybody’s, it was going to be the story of living in the absence of the dead.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “What you are doing is exploring. You are undertaking the first experience, not of the place, but of yourself in that place... nobody can discover the world for anybody else. It is only after we have discovered it for ourselves that it becomes a common ground and a common bond, and we cease to be alone.”
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: “A man cannot despair if he can imagine a better life, and if he can enact something of its possibility. It is only when I am ensnarled in the meaningless ordeals and the ordeals of meaninglessness, of which our public and political life is now so productive, that I lose the awareness of something better, and feel the despair of having come to the dead end of possibility.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “It is only by understanding the cultural complexity and largeness of the concept of agriculture that we can see the threatening diminishments implied by the term ‘agribusiness.’”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Those who say Islam is a warlike religion must ask if Christianity has been as well.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “He was a humorous, good-natured man, maybe because he hoped for little and expected less and took his satisfactions where he found them.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The music, while it lasted, brought a new world into being.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “People use drugs, legal and illegal, because their lives are intolerably painful or dull. They hate their work and find no rest in their leisure. They are estranged from their families and their neighbors. It should tell us something that in healthy societies drug use is celebrative, convivial, and occasional, whereas among us it is lonely, shameful, and addictive. We need drugs, apparently, because we have lost each other.”
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: “As much as any of the old-timers, he regarded the Depression as not over and done with but merely absent for a while, like Halley’s comet.”
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: “My label is just “good farming”, which isn’t something you can put on a t-shirt.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “I should ask, in the first place, whether or not I wish to purchase a solution to a problem that I do not have.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The great enemy of freedom is the alignment of political power with wealth.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “In solitude, we lose our loneliness.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The fertility cycle is a cycle entirely of living creatures passing again and again through birth, growth, maturity, death, and decay.”
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: “Time doesn’t stop. Your life doesn’t stop and wait until you get ready to start living it.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The river’s injury is its shape.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Why do the health of the body and the health of the earth decline together?”
Wendell Berry Quote: “He imagines a necessary joy in things that must fly to eat.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “I began to trust the world again, not to give me what I wanted, for I saw that it could not be trusted to do that, but to give unforeseen goods and pleasures that I had not thought to want.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Scared for health, afraid of death, bored, dissatisfied, vengeful, greedy, ignorant, and gullible – these are the qualities of the ideal consumer. Can we imagine a way of education that would turn passive consumers into active and informed critics, capable of using their own minds in their own defense?”
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: “The most available example of how poetry works for a poet is yourself, and yet you’ll probably be the last one to know exactly how you’re serving the art and how the art is serving you.”
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: “We are all to some extent the products of an exploitive society, and it would be foolish and self-defeating to pretend that we do not bear its stamp.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “What would be the point of being personally whole in a dismembered society, or personally healthy in a land scalped, eroded and poisoned, or personally free in a world entirely controlled by the government or enlightened by television?”
Wendell Berry Quote: “For any sin, we all suffer. That is why our suffering is endless.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “A music attends the things of the earth. To sense that music is to be near the possibility of health and joy.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “And if we ask what are the cultural resources that can inform and sustain a proper creaturely and stewardly awareness of the lives in a farmer’s keeping, I believe that we will find them gathered under the heading of husbandry.”
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