Farming: A Hand Book Paperback – Sep 20 2011
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"Love the world. Work for nothing. / Take all that you have and be poor. / Love someone who does not deserve it," writes Wendell Berry in the persona of "the mad farmer," a conservative landsman who deeply opposes the then-current war in Vietnam and the ongoing crisis of farming and the environment. Lyric, satiric, didactic, by turns funny and earnest, the poems collected in Farming, most from the late 1960s, established Berry as a social critic and artist of the first order. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Berry looks at the practical labor of farming as in "The Barn" when he captures the sweaty frenzy of onloading hay as a thunderstorm approaches and "rain dashed and drove against the roof," all too common in the days before accurate weather forcasts. His Mad Farmer being contrary -a gift of the farmer and perhaps the reason for farmers' optimism, when told "God is dead!" disagrees since he has seen him fishing in the Kentucky River everyday. In "A Failure" he observes the absence of the wild lillies one spring and provides an explanation in a fashion with overtones of "The Wild Swans at Coole." There is a great deal more here. The lyrical is clearly lyrical, but Berry at times also points to a tree in the woods and says "See?" And if as readers we are open, we do.