How To Be A Poet (to remind myself)

i

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 poems, 
doubt their judgment.

ii

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

iii

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

 

Wendell Berry

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