Yesterday a huge box of books arrived for me from friend– she had offered to receive and  then resend a bunch of serious- academic-y books I ordered on Amazon.  Such a kind and generous offer (I know not everyone is excited by trips to the post office as I am!) I was thrilled at their arrival!

Much to my surprise and delight she had also included a book of poetry by Wendell Berry , someone I am not familiar with but leafing through the book I can already tell that  I going to savor his earthy, contemplative poems. This book is going to sit near by bed, as end of the day, wind-down reading.

I am lucky to have some many generous friends who give  me wonderful, exciting , unexpected gifts, but quiet gifts-that remind you to slow down, pay attention, stand still– they are so rare.  So this week I really ❤ this gift of poetry.

Here is a poem from the collection that I have already read three times:

HOW TO BE A POET
( a reminder to myself)

Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill- more of each
than you have- inspiration,
work, growing, older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your work,
doubt their judgement.

Breath with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly, Live
a three- dimensional life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away for anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.

Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.