During the otherwise quiet course of his life as a poet, Wendell Berry has become “mad” at what contemporary society has made of its land, its communities, and its past. This anger reaches its peak in the poems of the Mad Farmer, an open-ended sequence he's found himself impelled to continue against his better instincts. These poems can take the shape of manifestos, meditations, insults, Whitmanic fits and ravingsthese are often funny in spite of themselves. The Mad Farmer is a character as necessary, perhaps, as he is regrettable.
Here are gathered the individual poems from Berry's various collections to offer the teachings of this amazing American voice. After the great success of the lovely Window Poems, Bob Baris of the Press on Scroll Road returns to design and produce an edition illustrated with etchings by Abigail Rover. James Baker Hall and William Kloefkorn offer poems here that also show how the Mad Farmer has escaped into the work of others. The whole is a wonderful testimony to the power of anger and humor to bring even the most terrible consequences into a focus otherwise impossible to obtain.
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About the Author
Wendell Berry, an essayist, novelist, and poet, has been honored with the T. S. Eliot Award, the Aiken Taylor Award for poetry, and the John Hay Award of the Orion Society. He lives with his wife on a farm in Henry County, KY.
Table of Contents
The Man Born to Farming 3
The Farmer among the Tombs 4
The Mad Farmer Revolution 5
The Contrariness of the Mad Farmer 7
The Mad Farmer in the City 9
Prayers and Sayings of the Mad Farmer 11
The Satisfactions of the Mad Farmer 15
Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front 19
The Mad Farmer Manifesto: The First Amendment 22
The Mad Farmer's Love Song 24
The Reassurer 25
The Mad Farmer, Flying the Flag of Rough Branch, Secedes from the Union 27
Some Further Words 30
While Attending the Annual Convocation of Cause Theorists and Bigbangists at the Local Provincial Research University, the Mad Farmer Intercedes from the Back Row 36
From Sabbaths 2012 38
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Mr. Berry is I think someone who speaks to those of us who have an affinity and a deep love for Mother Earth. He is very adept at getting the reader to understand what it is that he is about . Well written, and I plan to read it over several more times just for the joy of hearing thoughts that I share put into such order.