50 Most Inspiring Wendell Berry Quotes  

Wendell Barry Quotes

Wendell Erdman Berry was born on 5th August 1934, Port Royal, Kentucky, U.S. He is an American Poet, novelist, cultural critic, environmental activist, and farmer. Wendell attended the University of Kentucky and later taught at New York and Stanford universities and spent one year in Italy. He later returned to the University of Kentucky in 1964 to teach and settled near his birthplace. In 1977, Berry left the University to concentrate on farming and writing.

Berry’s poetry beginning with his first collection ” The Broken Ground (1964)” to “Sabaths (1987)” shows a steadily growing misuse of land and the need to restore the balance of nature.  His novel ” The Memory of Old Jack (1974)” clearly shows the theme of Human Responsibility to the Earth. The book consists of reflections that date back to the civil wars. Berry was a great writer who was elected a member of the “Fellowship of Southern Writers.”

He is a 2013 Fellow of “The American Arts of Academy and Science”. On 28th January 2015, Wendell became the first living author to be instated into the “Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame”. Wendell Berry is an iconic writer and one of the greatest authors of all time. Below is a collection of some of his most educative and inspiring quotes.

Wendell Berry Quotes

1. “Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.”– Wendell Berry

2. “I don’t believe that grief passes away. It has its time and place forever. More time is added to it; it becomes a story within a story. But grief and griever alike endure.”– Wendell Berry

3. “Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.”– Wendell Berry

4. “After a while, though the grief did not go away from us, it grew quiet. What had seemed a storm wailing through the entire darkness seemed to come in at last and lie down.”– Wendell Berry

5. “I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief… For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”– Wendell Berry

6. “I am not bound for any public place, but for ground of my own where I have planted vines and orchard trees, and in the heat of the day climbed up into the healing shadow of the woods.”– Wendell Berry

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7. “All right, every day ain’t going to be the best day of your life, don’t worry about that. If you stick to it you hold the possibility open that you will have better days.”– Wendell Berry

8. “The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.”– Wendell Berry

9. “We don’t have a right to ask whether we’re going to succeed or not. The only question we have a right to ask is what’s the right thing to do? What does this earth require of us if we want to continue to live on it?”– Wendell Berry

10. “We need better government, no doubt about it. But we also need better minds, better friendships, better marriages, better communities.”– Wendell Berry

11. “You cannot save the land apart from the people, or the people apart from the land.”— Wendell Berry

12. “The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass.”– Wendell Berry

13. “The past is our definition. We may strive with good reason to escape it or to escape what is bad in it. But we will escape it only by adding something better to it.”– Wendell Berry

14. “There are no sacred and unsacred places; there are only sacred and desecrated places. My belief is that the world and our life in it are conditional gifts.”– Wendell Berry

15.” Urban conservationists may feel entitled to be unconcerned about food production because they are not farmers. But they can’t be let off so easily, for they are all farming by proxy.”– Wendell Berry

16. “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

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17. “Annual plants are nature’s emergency medical service, seeded in sounds and scars to hold the land until the perennial cover is re-established.”– Wendell Berry

18. “People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health, and are treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food.”– Wendell Berry

19. “Protest that endures, I think, is moved by a hope far more modest than that of public success: namely, the hope of preserving qualities in one’s own heart and spirit that would be destroyed by acquiescence.”– Wendell Berry

20. “The shoddy work of despair, the pointless work of pride, equally betray Creation. They are wastes of life.”– Wendell Berry

21. “It is impossible to prefigure the salvation of the world in the same language by which the world has been dismembered and defaced.”– Wendell Berry

22. “The rule, acknowledged or not, seems to be that if we have great power we must use it. We would use a steam shovel to pick up a dime. We have experts who can prove there is no other way to do it.”– Wendell Berry

23. “For the true measure of agriculture is not the sophistication of its equipment the size of its income or even the statistics of its productivity but the good health of the land.”– Wendell Berry

24. “Sabbath observance invites us to stop. It invites us to rest. It asks us to notice that while we rest, the world continues without our help. It invites us to delight in the world’s beauty and abundance.”– Wendell Berry

25. “I don’t believe that grief passes away. It has its time and place forever. More time is added to it; it becomes a story within a story. But grief and griever alike endure.”– Wendell Berry

26. “True solitude is found in the wild places, where one is without human obligation. One’s inner voices become audible… In consequence, one responds more clearly to other lives.”– Wendell Berry

27. “The fertility cycle is a cycle entirely of living creatures passing again and again through birth, growth, maturity, death, and decay.”– Wendell Berry

28. “Ask the questions that have no answers. Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias. Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant, that you will not live to harvest.’– Wendell Berry

29. “We’re all complicit in the things we may be trying to oppose. I’m complicit in the things that I’m trying to oppose.”– Wendell Berry

30. “The only time I’ve been arrested was in opposing the Marble Hill nuclear power plant in Indiana. That was in 1979.”– Wendell Berry

31. “It may be that when we no longer know which way to go that we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”– Wendell Berry

32. “A corporation, essentially, is a pile of money to which a number of persons have sold their moral allegiance.”– Wendell Berry

33. “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

34. “Industrial agriculture characteristically proceeds by single solutions to single problems: If you want the most money from your land this year, grow the crops for which the market price is highest.”– Wendell Berry

35. “Why should conservationists have a positive interest in… farming? There are lots of reasons, but the plainest is: Conservationists eat.”– Wendell Berry

36.” When you are new at sheep-raising and your ewe has a lamb, your impulse is to stay there and help it nurse and see to it and all. After a while, you know that the best thing you can do is walk out of the barn.”– Wendell Berry

37. “An economy genuinely local and neighborly offers to localities a measure of security that they cannot derive from a national or a global economy controlled by people who, by principle, have no local commitment.”– Wendell Berry

39. “When I rise up let me rise up joyful like a bird. When I fall let me fall without regret like a leaf.”– Wendell Berry

40. “We cannot know the whole truth, which belongs to God alone, but our task nevertheless is to seek to know what is true.”– Wendell Berry

41.” If you start a conversation with the assumption that you are right or that you must win, obviously it is difficult to talk.”– Wendell Berry

42. “There are moments when the heart is generous, and then it knows that for better or worse our lives are woven together here, one with one another and with the place and all the living things.”– Wendell Berry

43. “Again I resume the long lesson: how small a thing can be pleasing, how little in this hard world it takes to satisfy the mind and bring it to its rest.”– Wendell Berry

44. “So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute. Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing. Take all that you have and be poor. Love someone who does not deserve it. Denounce the government and embrace the flag. Hope to live in that free republic for which it stands.”– Wendell Berry

45. “To defend what we love we need a particularizing language, for we love what we particularly know.”– Wendell Berry

46. “The primary motive for good care and good use of the land-community is always going to be affection, which is too often lacking.”– Wendell Berry

47. “If we are serious about peace, then we must work for it as ardently, seriously, continuously, carefully, and bravely as we have ever prepared for war.”– Wendell Berry

48. “I think the issues of identity mostly are poppycock. We are what we have done, which includes our promises, includes our hopes, but promises first.”– Wendell Berry

49. “I’ve had a good life, and was born to and among people I’ve admired and loved.”– Wendell Berry

50. “The old and honorable idea of ‘vocation’ is simply that we each are called, by God, or by our gifts, or by our preference, to a kind of good work for which we are particularly fitted.”– Wendell Berry

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Wendell Berry Reads A Poem on Hope

Wendell Berry, one of America’s most influential writers, reads one of his most revered poems “A Poem on Hope” for Moyers & Company.

In this amazing segment, in a rare television interview, Wendell Berry discusses a sensible, but no-compromise plan to save the Earth.

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Summary

Wendell Berry is a legendary author who has paved the way for the next generation of writers. He has won numerous awards and has been recognized by several international bodies due to his educative books that help us change our perspectives on the way we see life. He is an activist who stands for what is right.

If you are looking for inspiration and ideas on how to handle life, Wendell Berry’s quotes are here f to help you understand the true definition of life, success, and humanity. Without a doubt, we believe that you will enjoy these quotes and they will have a great impact on your life.

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