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Entries

Overview

Entries is Wendell Berry's tenth collection of poems. This remarkable, eclectic gathering of ten years' work offers poems of remembrance and renewal, celebrating life's complexities from the domestic to the eternal. As husband and father, son and citizen, the poet explores with clear sureness his "membership" in his community and in the world. The heart of this collection is a sequence of poems written during Berry's father's final years. From conflict, grief, great loss and great love, there emerges a compassion...
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Overview

Entries is Wendell Berry's tenth collection of poems. This remarkable, eclectic gathering of ten years' work offers poems of remembrance and renewal, celebrating life's complexities from the domestic to the eternal. As husband and father, son and citizen, the poet explores with clear sureness his "membership" in his community and in the world. The heart of this collection is a sequence of poems written during Berry's father's final years. From conflict, grief, great loss and great love, there emerges a compassion and understanding: in death and in memory begins immortality.

Berry's remarkable new collection, produced over the past decade, offers poems of remembrance and regeneration, celebrating life's complexities from the domestic to the eternal. 88 pp.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Berry's first collection since 1987 reads like a compilation taken from the years since, including occasional pieces, political satire and what seem like sketches. The influences are as diverse as Blake, Williams, and the later Yeats (``He served with mind and hand / What we were hoping for: / The small house on the land, / The shade tree by the door''). Berry's poems are united less by an aesthetic than an ethic, composed of respect for the earth and its people and a conviction that one must speak out against whatever forces stand in opposition: ``The spool of our engine-driven fate / unwinds, our history now outspeeding / thought, and the heart is a beatable tool.'' The poetry's general lack of metaphor leads to some drily rhetorical writing: ``It is the stewardship / of its own possibility, / the past remembering itself / in the presence of / the present, the power, learned / and handed down, to see / what is present.'' Yet Berry's observations (here, of a thunderstorm) can be acute: ``Out our window we glimpsed the world / birthwet and shining, as even / the sun at noon had never made it shine.'' The last section of poems about his father is most powerful. One appreciates that Berry's writing about aging is not designed to comfort, but only to tell the truth about the last stage of his father's life, ``when immortal love / In flesh, denying time, will look / At what is lost, and grief fulfill / The budget of desire. Sometimes, / At home, he longs to be at home.'' (May)
Library Journal
This latest volume from farmer-poet Berry has all the brevity and bite of personal diary entries. He celebrates the rural world of ``garden, smokehouse...cellar,/granary, crib, and loft,'' a place where the seed pods of touch-me-nots contain magical ``coil springs'' and a beautiful curl defines the ``plume in the drake's tail.'' But set against this world of bucolic joy is the society of people who ``breathe poisoned air, drink poisoned water, eat/poisoned food.'' According to Berry, we live in an age of ``madness'' that has ``politicized/everything but politics.'' So these poems contain an ethical charge, exhorting us all, even ``anglo-saxon protestant heterosexual'' men, to live the best of all possible lives. This higher life of ``compassion and forgiveness'' explains the many poignant love poems and elegies in Entries because ``it's love that keeps the world alive.'' Highly recommended for all poetry collections.-Daniel L. Guillory, Millikin Univ., Decatur, Ill.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781887178372
  • Publisher: Counterpoint Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1997
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 88
  • Sales rank: 1,126,622
  • Product dimensions: 4.94 (w) x 7.93 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Table of Contents

For the Explainers 3
A Marriage Song 4
Voices Late at Night 6
A Difference 8
The Record 9
A Parting 11
One of Us 13
Thirty More Years 14
The Wild Rose 15
Leaving 16
The Blue Robe 17
The Venus of Botticelli 18
A Third Possibility 19
In a Motel Parking Lot, Thinking of Dr. Williams 20
To My Mother 23
On a Theme of Chaucer 27
A History 28
The Reassurer 30
Let Us Pledge 32
The Vacation 33
A Lover's Song 34
Anglo-Saxon Protestant Heterosexual Men 35
Madness 36
Air 37
Enemies 38
The Mad Farmer, Flying the Flag of Rough Branch, Secedes from the Union 39
Even in Darkness 45
Duality 46
The Three 51
Touch-Me-Not 52
To Hayden Garruth 53
Drouth 54
Noguchi Fountain 55
Spring 56
Two Questions 57
Imagination 58
The Widower 59
Devon 60
For an Absence 61
The Storm 62
In Extremis: Poems about My Father 65
Epitaph 79
Come Forth 80
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