When I come across a poem I love, I will write it in my journal. “A Timbered Choir” by Wendell Berry is a poem I never want to forget. I think it is my all-time favorite poem if I had to chose one. Forgive my little scribbles and messy handwriting but I felt it more fun to share this way then to just type it out here. But if you really want to experience this poem, please scroll down to the link below to hear Berry read it for himself!
Wendell Berry himself reads his beautiful poem in the video made by Laura Dunn posted in the link below. The video is the trailer for the film “Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry”. The film itself is beautifully made and relaxing and an interesting portrait of the author and farmer’s life. Do have a listen to the trailer, you won’t regret it:
Look & See Trailer by Laura Dunn on Vimeo
After watching it, I am sure you understand why this poem has been echoing in my mind lately. The cadence of his voice and the powerful images in the video are captivating, important, real, and stopped me in my tracks. I’ve listened to his voice read “The Timbered Choir” over and over. I intend to read a lot more of Wendell Berry’s work.
Picking Blueberries, Austerlitz, New York,1957
Once, in summer,
in the blueberries,
I fell asleep, and woke
when a deer stumbled against me.
she was so busy with her own happiness
she had grown careless
and was just wandering along
to the wind as she leaned down
to lip up the sweetness.
So, there we were
with nothing between us
but a few leaves, and wind’s
backed away finally
and flung up her white tail
and went floating off toward the trees –
but the moment before she did that
was so wide and so deep
it has lasted to this day;
I have only to think of her –
the flower of her amazement
and the stalled breath of her curiosity,
and even the damp touch of her solicitude
before she took flight –
to be absent again from this world
and alive, again, in another
for thirty years
sleepy and amazed,
rising out of the rough weeds
listening and looking.
where are you?
New and Selected Poems
Is it too early to be dreaming of spring? I don’t think so. The sun is around so much longer these days. It’s really just around the corner. I found this poem on one of my favorite websites (This Ivy House) this morning, and I love how spring is expressed in it. I wanted to share it with you, my faithful readers (all 2 of you! 🙂 haha). So here is an excerpt from To Jane: The Invitation by Percy Bysshe Shelley via the Poetry Foundation.
Bending from Heaven, in azure mirth,
It kissed the forehead of the Earth,
And smiled upon the silent sea,
And bade the frozen streams be free,
And waked to music all their fountains,
And breathed upon the frozen mountains,
And like a prophetess of May
Strewed flowers upon the barren way,
Making the wintry world appear
Like one on whom thou smilest, dear.
Away, away, from men and towns,
To the wild wood and the downs—
To the silent wilderness
Where the soul need not repress
Its music lest it should not find
An echo in another’s mind.
While the touch of Nature’s art
Harmonizes heart to heart.
Do you want to know why I am a really bad librarian? Well, other than the fact that I quit my library job… I have always been a bad librarian because I said for years that I “hated classics.” *everyone gasps* Yup. I said it. But now, in my older, wiser (ha!) years, I have decided to turn over a new leaf and give the classic literature another go. Perhaps it’s because I am at a different phase in life, or perhaps it’s because I am not forced to read these books in ridiculously large page amounts per night as an assignment, or perhaps because I am not tediously picking apart every passage to write a paper…I will say that classics are not so bad at all. I don’t think I hate them anymore. Rather, I think I love them. And I think I have been missing out all these years. Maybe we just started with a really good one? I say “we” because at the beginning of August, one of my best friends inspired me to start reading the classics. Because she is a good librarian (really, she is), she has been reading and enjoying classic books all along. I saw her reading Great Expectations one day, and I thought, “really, I ought to be reading that too” and thus the idea was planted in my mind that we should read the classics together to make it more fun for me. We decided to start with Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, because my good librarian friend was already in the midst of it and enjoying it. I picked it up from the library, dove right in, and thoroughly enjoyed it too! To my great surprise, it was a page-turner! I really liked it! I finished it quickly and it got me hungry for more classics. So I read through Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. While not as enthralling as Rebecca in my opinion, it was still a very good read and kept me interested. I will admit, I did have a little hiccup last week with Wuthering Heights. Sorry Emily Bronte… but I just couldn’t finish it. The characters were so unpleasant I truly wanted them out of my mind. I should finish it eventually but I needed a break. So my friend and I settled on Persuasion, my first time reading Jane Austen ever. I’m finding it a bit more difficult to get into then the other three classics I’ve read so far, but I’m only on the 3rd chapter. I’m feeling positive about it though. I log my reading materials on goodreads which is an easy and fun way to keep track of what I’ve read and still want to read. I also love giving books ratings from 1-5 stars. Rebecca was 5 stars. The tea party we had to watch the Hitchcock movie version of the story was also 5 stars 🙂 And if a movie producer happens to come across my blog (ha!) please, make another version of Rebecca. It would be such an awesome movie. Not that I didn’t like the Hitchcock version, but one in color with awesome music and a beautiful setting would be so amazing. Come on movie producers…