Category Archives: Berry (Wendell)

Berry Chooses Hope over Despair

Wendell Berry “A Vision” could serve as the guiding star for the environmental movement. He sees a world with clean rivers, thick forests, and clean sky as “no paradisal dream,” even as he acknowledges the difficult challenges ahead.

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Finding Beauty in Ravaged Landscapes

In “Gift of Gravity,” Wendell Berry finds beauty even in ravaged landscapes. But is there a limit to how much of a devastated landscape he could learn to love?

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To Save the World, Know Your Habitat

In his book “Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality,” Darcia Navaez talks about the importance of knowing our habitat if we are to develop an eco-morality. Poets like Wendell Berry and Mary Oliver help show us the way.

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Vacations Must Be More than Photographs

Wendell Berry warns that photographs can come between us and a profound vacation experience. I’ll keep that in mind in my upcoming trip to Machu Picchu.

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The Peace of Wild Things

My Intro to Literature class explored how a disconnect from nature leads to existential anguish while opening themselves up to nature provides spiritual nourishment.

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Life Is Bigger Than Flesh

Wendell Berry’s “Testament” can console those who have lost loved ones.

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Inundated by E-Mail? A Mixed Solution

Wendell Berry has a poem addressing a fantasy many of us have had: jettisoning all our mail (and now, e-mail).

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Poems Teach Us to Be Wise

Two young student athletes in my Intro to Literature took important lessons from “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and a Wendell Berry poem.

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Coming into the Peace of Wild Things

Wendell Barry’s “Peace of Wild Things” provides a vision that can help counteract what Thomas Merton identifies as the most common form of innate violence: the rush and pressure of modern life.

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  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

    Please feel free to e-mail me [rrbates (at) smcm (dot) edu]. I would be honored to hear your thoughts and questions about literature.

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