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For nearly thirty-five years, Wendell Berry has been at work on a series of poems occasioned by his solitary Sunday walks around his farm in Kentucky. From riverfront and meadows, to grass fields and woodlots, every inch of this hillside farm lives in these poems, as do the poet’s constant companions in memory and occasion, family and animals, who have with Berry created his Home Place with love and gratitude.
There are poems of spiritual longing and political extremity, memorials and celebrations, elegies and lyrics that include some of the most beautiful domestic poems in American literature, alongside the occasional rants of the Mad Farmer, pushed to the edge yet again by his compatriots and elected officials.
With the publication of this new complete edition, it is becoming increasingly clear that The Sabbath Poems have become the very heart of Berry’s entire work. And these magnificent poems, taken as a whole, have become one of the greatest contributions ever made to American poetry.
Wendell Berry is the author of more than fifty books of poetry, fiction, and essays. He was recently awarded the National Humanities Medal, the Cleanth Brooks Medal for Lifetime Achievement by the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and the Louis Bromfield Society Award. For more than forty years he has lived and farmed with his wife, Tanya, in Kentucky.