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Top 450 Wendell Berry Quotes (2023 Update)
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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: “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: “If the devil doesn’t exist... how do you explain that some people are a lot worse than they’re smart enough to be?”
Wendell Berry Quote: “When the mind’s an empty room The clear days come.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “To have good farming or good land use of any kind, you have got to have limits. Capitalism doesn’t acknowledge limits.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Never forget: We are alive within mysteries.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “And having returned from the woods, we remember with regret its restfulness. For all creatures there are in place, hence at rest. In their most strenuous striving, sleeping and waking, dead and living, they are at rest. In the circle of the human we are weary with striving, and are without rest.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “We cannot comprehend what comprehends us.”
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: “Some of the best things I have ever thought of I have thought of during bad sermons.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “He thought rightly that we Americans, by inclination at least, have been divided into two kinds: “boomers” and “stickers.” Boomers, he said, are “those who pillage and run,” who want “to make a killing and end up on Easy Street,” whereas stickers are “those who settle, and love the life they have made and the place they have made it in.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Without animals, something essential is removed from the minds of the farmers.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Another place! it’s enough to grieve me – that old dream of going, of becoming a better man just by getting up and going to a better place.”
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: “Far from making peace, wars invariably serve as classrooms and laboratories where men and techniques and states of mind are prepared for the next war.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The mercy of the world is you don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Do not tax your life with forethought of grief.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The river’s injury is its shape.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “For if there was any kindness in slavery it was dependent on the docility of the slaves; any slave who was unwilling to be a slave broke through the myth of paternalism and benevolence, and brought down on himself the violence inherent in the system. A.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “My wish simply is to live my life as fully as I can. In both our work and our leisure, I think, we should be so employed. And in our time this means that we must save ourselves from the products that we are asked to buy in order, ultimately, to replace ourselves.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “As I went about my work then as a young woman, and still now when I am old, Grandmam has been often close to me in my thoughts. And again I come to the difficulty of finding words. It is hard to say what it means to be at work and thinking of a person you loved and love still who did that same work before you and who taught you to do it. It is a comfort ever and always, like hearing the rhyme come when you are singing a song.”
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: “To hear of a thousand deaths in war is terrible, and we ‘know’ that it is. But as it registers on our hearts, it is not more terrible than one death fully imagined.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “LEACH: You write by hand and, famously, do not own a computer. Is there some kind of physical pleasure to be taken in writing by hand? BERRY: Yes, but I don’t know how I’d prove it. I have a growing instinct to avoid mechanical distractions and screens because I want to be in the presence of this place. I like to write by the ambient daylight because I don’t want to miss it. As I grow older, I grieve over every moment I’m gone from this place, because it is inexhaustibly interesting to me.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “The idea was that when faced with abundance one should consume abundantly – an idea that has survived to become the basis of our present economy. It is neither natural nor civilized, and even from a ‘practical’ point of view it is to the last degree brutalizing and stupid.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Our human and earthly limits, properly understood, are not confinements but rather inducements to formal elaboration and elegance, to fullness of relationship and meaning.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Those who say Islam is a warlike religion must ask if Christianity has been as well.”
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: “There can be no such thing as a “global village.” No matter how much one may love the world as a whole, one can live fully in it only by living responsibly in some small part of it.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “To define knowledge as merely empirical is to limit one’s ability to know; it enfeebles one’s ability to feel and think.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Commercial conquest is far more thorough and final than military defeat.”
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: “These are people who are capable of devotion, public devotion, to justice. They meant what they said and every day that passes, they mean it more.”
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: “I became a sort of garden fanatic, and I am not over it yet. You can take a few seed peas, dry and dead, and sow them in a little furrow, and they will sprout into a row of pea vines and bear more peas – it may not be a miracle, but that is a matter of opinion.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Want of imagination makes things unreal enough to be destroyed. By imagination I mean knowledge and love. I mean compassion. People of power kill children, the old send the young to die, because they have no imagination. They have power. Can you have power and imagination at the same time? Can you kill people you don’t know and have compassion for them at the same time?”
Wendell Berry Quote: “We all come from divorce. This is an age of divorce. Things that belong together have been taken apart. And you can’t put it all back together again. What you can do, is the only thing that you can do. You take two things that ought to be together and you put them together. Two things! Not all things.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Why do the health of the body and the health of the earth decline together?”
Wendell Berry Quote: “If we do not live where we work and when we work we are wasting our lives and our work too.”
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: “Only the action that is moved by love for the good at hand has the hope of being responsible and generous.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Education has increasingly been reduced to job training, preparing young people not for responsible adulthood and citizenship but for expert servitude to the corporations.”
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: “We are living in the most destructive and, hence, the most stupid period of the history of our species.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “A man’s life is always dealing with permanence, that is the most dangerous kind of irresponsibility is to think of your doings as temporary.”
Wendell Berry Quote: “Novelty is a new kind of loneliness.”
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: “The road is a word, conceived elsewhere and laid across the country in the wound prepared for it: a word made concrete and thrust among us.”
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: “Any religion has to have a practice. When you let it go so far from practice that it just becomes a matter of talk something bad happens.”
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