Monday, August 17, 2015

Wendell Berry: "The Sorrel Filly"

The songs of small birds fade away
into the bushes after sundown,
the air dry, sweet with goldenrod.
Beside the path, suddenly, bright asters
flare in the dusk. The aged voices
of a few crickets thread the silence.
It is a quiet I love, though my life
too often drives me through it deaf.
Busy with costs and losses, I waste
the time I have to be here—a time
blessed beyond my deserts, as I know,
if only I would keep aware. The leaves
rest in the air, perfectly still.
I would like them to rest in my mind
as still, as simply spaced. As I approach,
the sorrel filly looks up from her grazing,
poised there, light on the slope
as a young apple tree. A week ago
I took her away to sell, and failed
to get my price, and brought her home
again. Now in the quiet I stand
and look at her a long time, glad
to have recovered what is lost
in the exchange of something for money.

"The Sorrel Filly" by Wendell Berry. Text as published in Collected Poems: 1957-1982 (North Point Press, 1985). 

Art credit: "Wild Horse Sunset," photograph by Leland D. Howard.

1 comment :

  1. I love the way his insights land in the middle of such clear observation of the details in a moment. Two phrases that made me go back and read the whole thing again for the moments in which they land:
    "if only I would keep aware"
    "what is lost
    in the exchange of something for money."


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