Here is the collection of best Wendell Berry quotes for our readers. Wendell Berry was born on August 5, 1934 in Kentucky, USA. He is a poet, writer, activist, academic, and farmer. Berry has received numerous accolades for his outstanding writings. He is an elected member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He is the first living writer to be inducted into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame.


“People use drugs, legal and illegal, because their lives are intolerably painful or dull. They hate their work and find no rest in their leisure. They are estranged from their families and their neighbors. It should tell us something that in healthy societies drug use is celebrative, convivial, and occasional, whereas among us it is lonely, shameful, and addictive. We need drugs, apparently, because we have lost each other.”
Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

“Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.”
Wendell Berry, Farming: a hand book

“Telling a story is like reaching into a granary full of wheat and drawing out a handful. There is always more to tell than can be told.”
Wendell Berry Quotes, Jayber Crow

“If we do not live where we work and when we work we are wasting our lives and our work too.”
Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture

“Charity even for one person does not make sense except in terms of an effort to love all Creation in response to the Creator’s love for it.”
Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

“Living without expectations is hard but, when you can do it, good. Living without hope is harder, and that is bad. You have got to have hope, and you must’nt shirk it. Love, after all, hopeth all things. But maybe you must learn, and it is hard learning, not to hope out loud, especially for other people. You must not let your hope turn into expectation.”
Wendell Berry

best wendell berry quotes
“Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.”
Wendell Berry Quotes

“We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it.”
Wendell Berry, The Long-Legged House

“Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of supply and demand; it is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy.”
Wendell Berry

“The shoddy work of despair, the pointless work of pride, equally betray Creation. They are wastes of life.”
Wendell Berry, What Are People For?

“Praise ignorance, for what man has not encountered he has not destroyed.”
Wendell Berry

“It is impossible to prefigure the salvation of the world in the same language by which the world has been dismembered and defaced.”
Wendell Berry, Life is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition

best wendell berry quotes
“You can best serve civilization by being against what usually passes for it.”
Wendell Berry

“Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.”
Wendell Berry, A Place on Earth

“Healing is impossible in loneliness; it is the opposite of loneliness. Conviviality is healing. To be healed we must come with all the other creatures to the feast of Creation.”
Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

“Prayer is like lying awake at night, afraid, with your head under the cover, hearing only the beating of your own heart. It is like a bird that has blundered down the flue and is caught indoors and flutters at the windowpanes. It is like standing a long time on a cold day, knocking at a shut door.”
Wendell Berry Quotes, Jayber Crow

“We have made it our overriding ambition to escape work, and as a consequence have debased work until it is only fit to escape from. We have debased the products of work and have been, in turn, debased by them.”
Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

best wendell berry quotes
“It may be that when we no longer know which way to go that we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”
Wendell Berry

“Be joyful because it is humanly possible.”
Wendell Berry

“A corporation, essentially, is a pile of money to which a number of persons have sold their moral allegiance.”
Wendell Berry

“The Earth is what we all have in common.”
Wendell Berry

“The music, while it lasted, brought a new world into being.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

best wendell berry quotes
“Love is what carries you, for it is always there, even in the dark, or most in the dark, but shining out at times like gold stitches in a piece of embroidery.”
Wendell Berry Quotes, Hannah Coulter

“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.”
Wendell Berry

“I don’t believe that grief passes away. It has its time and place forever. More time is added to it; it becomes a story within a story. But grief and griever alike endure.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

“No matter how much one may love the world as a whole, one can live fully in it only by living responsibly in some small part of it. Where we live and who we live there with define the terms of our relationship to the world and to humanity. We thus come again to the paradox that one can become whole only by the responsible acceptance of one’s partiality.”
Wendell Berry

“I thought, He must forebear to reveal His power and glory by presenting Himself as Himself, and must be present only in the ordinary miracle of the existence of His creatures. Those who wish to see Him must see Him in the poor, the hungry, the hurt, the wordless creatures, the groaning and travailing beautiful world.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

quotes from wendell berry
“There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places.”
Wendell Berry, Given

“I dislike the thought that some animal has been made miserable to feed me. If I am going to eat meat, I want it to be from an animal that has lived a pleasant, uncrowded life outdoors, on bountiful pasture, with good water nearby and trees for shade.”
Wendell Berry Quotes, What Are People For?

“And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet, and learn to be at home.”
Wendell Berry, The Unforeseen Wilderness: Kentucky’s Red River Gorge

“In order to survive, a plurality of true communities would require not egalitarianism and tolerance but knowledge, an understanding of the necessity of local differences, and respect. Respect, I think, always implies imagination – the ability to see one another, across our inevitable differences, as living souls.”
Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

“I’d had the idea, once, that if I could get the chance before I died I would read all the good books there were. Now I began to see that I wasn’t apt to make it. This disappointed me, for I really wanted to read them all.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

quotes from wendell berry
“Especially among Christians in positions of wealth and power, the idea of reading the Gospels and keeping Jesus’ commandments as stated therein has been replaced by a curious process of logic. According to this process, people first declare themselves to be followers of Christ, and then they assume that whatever they say or do merits the adjective “Christian”.”
Wendell Berry, Blessed are the Peacemakers: Christ’s Teachings of Love, Compassion, and Forgiveness

“A community is the mental and spiritual condition of knowing that the place is shared, and that the people who share the place define and limit the possibilities of each other’s lives. It is the knowledge that people have of each other, their concern for each other, their trust in each other, the freedom with which they come and go among themselves.”
Wendell Berry

“What I stand for is what I stand on.”
Wendell Berry Quotes

“The chance you had is the life you’ve got. You can make complaints about what people, including you, make of their lives after they have got them, and about what people make of other people’s lives, …but you mustn’t wish for another life. You mustn’t want to be somebody else.”
Wendell Berry, Hannah Coulter

“To love anything good, at any cost, is a bargain.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

quotes from wendell berry
“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.”
Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture

“Let us have the candor to acknowledge that what we call “the economy” or “the free market” is less and less distinguishable from warfare.”
Wendell Berry

“There comes . . . a longing never to travel again except on foot.”
Wendell Berry, Remembering

“Battle with unconditioned breath the unconditioned air. Shun electric wire. Communicate slowly. Live a three-dimensional life; stay away from screens.”
Wendell Berry

“You don’t need to be told some things. You can sometimes tell more by a man’s silence and the set of his head than by what he says.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

“The language that reveals also obscures.”
Wendell Berry Quotes

“We have neglected the truth that a good farmer is a craftsman of the highest order, a kind of artist.”
Wendell Berry, The Gift of Good Land: Further Essays Cultural and Agricultural

“I believe until fairly recently our destruction of nature were more or less unwitting — the by-products, so to speak, of our ignorance or weakness or depravity. It is our present principled and elaborately rationalized rape and plunder of the natural world that is a new thing under the sun.”
Wendell Berry

quotes from wendell berry
“Eating is an agricultural act.”
Wendell Berry, What Are People for Essays By Wendell B

“Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.”
Wendell Berry

“I have always loved a window, especially an open one.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

“The Christian gospel is a summons to peace, calling for justice beyond anger, mercy beyond justice, forgiveness beyond mercy, love beyond forgiveness.”
Wendell Berry

“What could be more superstitious than the idea that money brings forth food?”
Wendell Berry

quotes from wendell berry
“My wish simply is to live my life as fully as I can. In both our work and our leisure, I think, we should be so employed. And in our time this means that we must save ourselves from the products that we are asked to buy in order, ultimately, to replace ourselves.”
Wendell Berry Quotes, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

“The care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.”
Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

“If you don’t know where you’re from, you’ll have a hard time saying where you’re going.”
Wendell Berry

“The mercy of the world is time. Time does not stop for love, but it does not stop for death and grief, either.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

“A man with a machine and inadequate culture is a pestilence.”
Wendell Berry

quotes from wendell berry
“One of the most important resources that a garden makes available for use, is the gardener’s own body. A garden gives the body the dignity of working in its own support. It is a way of rejoining the human race.”
Wendell Berry

“Young lovers see a vision of the world redeemed by love. That is the truest thing they ever see, for without it life is death.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

“When going back makes sense, you are going ahead.”
Wendell Berry Quotes

“The promoters of the global economy…see nothing odd or difficult about unlimited economic growth or unlimited consumption in a limited world.”
Wendell Berry, Another Turn of the Crank

“Eating with the fullest pleasure – pleasure, that is, that does not depend on ignorance – is perhaps the profoundest enactment of our connection with the world. In this pleasure we experience our dependence and our gratitude, for we are living in a mystery, from creatures we did not make and powers we cannot comprehend.”
Wendell Berry

quotes from wendell berry
“Always in the big woods when you leave familiar ground and step off alone into a new place there will be, along with the feelings of curiosity and excitement, a little nagging of dread. It is the ancient fear of the Unknown, and it is your first bond with the wilderness you are going into.”
Wendell Berry

“I could die in peace, I think, if the world was beautiful. To know it’s being ruined is hard.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

“The passive American consumer, sitting down to a meal of pre-prepared food, confronts inert, anonymous substances that have been processed, dyed, breaded, sauced, gravied, ground, pulped, strained, blended, prettified, and sanitized beyond resemblance to any part of any creature that ever lived. The products of nature and agriculture have been made, to all appearances, the products of industry. Both eater and eaten are thus in exile from biological reality.”
Wendell Berry

“And in some of the people of the town and community surrounding it, one of the characteristic diseases of the twentieth century was making its way: the suspicion that they would be greatly improved if they were somewhere else.”
Wendell Berry Quotes

“The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass.”
Wendell Berry, Given

quotes from wendell berry
“Some nights in the midst of this loneliness I swung among the scattered stars at the end of the thin thread of faith alone.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

“If you can read and have more imagination than a doorknob, what need do you have for a ‘movie version’ of a novel?”
Wendell Berry, What Matters?: Economics for a Renewed Commonwealth

“We walked always in beauty, it seemed to me. We walked and looked about, or stood and looked. Sometimes, less often, we would sit down. We did not often speak. The place spoke for us and was a kind of speech. We spoke to each other in the things we saw.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

“He never complained. He seemed to have no instinct for the making much of oneself that complaining requires.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

“We are going to have to gather up the fragments of knowledge and responsibilities that have been turned over to governments, corporations, and specialists, and put those fragments back together again in our own minds and in our families and household and neighborhoods.”
Wendell Berry

quotes from wendell berry
“After a while, though the grief did not go away from us, it grew quiet. What had seemed a storm wailing through the entire darkness seemed to come in at last and lie down.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

“The freedom of affluence opposes and contradicts the freedom of community life.”
Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

“People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health, and are treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food.”
Wendell Berry Quotes

“There are moments when the heart is generous, and then it knows that for better or worse our lives are woven together here, one with one another and with the place and all the living things.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

“Protest that endures, I think, is moved by a hope far more modest than that of public success: namely, the hope of preserving qualities in one’s own heart and spirit that would be destroyed by acquiescence.”
Wendell Berry, What Are People For?

quotes from wendell berry
“It is easy for me to imagine that the next great division of the world will be between people who wish to live as creatures and people who wish to live as machines.”
Wendell Berry, Life is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition

“But love, sooner or later, forces us out of time…of all that we feel and do, all the virtues and all the sins, love alone crowds us at last over the edge of the world. For love is always more than a little strange here…It is in the world, but is not altogether of it. It is of eternity. It takes us there when it most holds us here.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

“I see that the life of this place is always emerging beyond expectation or prediction or typicality, that it is unique, given to the world minute by minute, only once, never to be repeated. And this is when I see that this life is a miracle, absolutely worth having, absolutely worth saving. We are alive within mystery, by miracle.”
Wendell Berry, Life is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition

“What can’t be helped must be endured.”
Wendell Berry Quotes, Jayber Crow

“This massive ascendancy of corporate power over democratic process is probably the most ominous development since the end of World War II, and for the most part “the free world” seems to be regarding it as merely normal.”
Wendell Berry, Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food

quotes from wendell berry
“As I understand it, I am being paid only for my work in arranging the words; my property is that arrangement. The thoughts in this book, on the contrary, are not mine. They came freely to me, and I give them freely away. I have no “intellectual property,” and I think that all claimants to such property are thieves.”
Wendell Berry, Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community: Eight Essays

“Some of the best things I have ever thought of I have thought of during bad sermons.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

“If the devil doesn’t exist… how do you explain that some people are a lot worse than they’re smart enough to be?”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

“I believe that the community – in the fullest sense: a place and all its creatures – is the smallest unit of health and that to speak of the health of an isolated individual is a contradiction in terms. (pg. 146, Health is Membership)”
Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

“The past is our definition. We may strive with good reason to escape it or to escape what is bad in it but we will escape it only by adding something better to it.”
Wendell Berry Quotes

quotes from wendell berry
“The mercy of the world is you don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

“Perhaps all the good that ever has come here has come because people prayed it into the world.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

“To live, we must daily break the body and shed the blood of Creation. When we do this knowingly, lovingly, skillfully, reverently, it is a sacrament. When we do it ignorantly, greedily, clumsily, destructively, it is a desecration. In such desecration we condemn ourselves to spiritual and moral loneliness, and others to want.”
Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

“It is certain, I think, that the best government is the one that governs the least. But there is a much-neglected corollary: the best citizen is the one who least needs governing.”
Wendell Berry, The Long-Legged House

“Want of imagination makes things unreal enough to be destroyed. By imagination I mean knowledge and love. I mean compassion. People of power kill children, the old send the young to die, because they have no imagination. They have power. Can you have power and imagination at the same time? Can you kill people you don’t know and have compassion for them at the same time?”
Wendell Berry, Hannah Coulter

“The only true and effective “operator’s manual for spaceship earth” is not a book that any human will ever write; it is hundreds of thousands of local cultures.”
Wendell Berry, What Are People For?

“The industrial mind is a mind without compunction; it simply accepts that people, ultimately, will be treated as things and that things, ultimately, will be treated as garbage.”
Wendell Berry

“We weren’t allowing our hopes to become expectations. Expectations are tempting, pleasant, maybe necessary. They are scary too, once you have had some experience. They are not necessarily and not always a bucket of smoke, but they can be and are even likely to be.”
Wendell Berry, Hannah Coulter

“For the true measure of agriculture is not the sophistication of its equipment the size of its income or even the statistics of its productivity but the good health of the land.”
Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture

“The road is a word, conceived elsewhere and laid across the country in the wound prepared for it: a word made concrete and thrust among us.”
Wendell Berry Quotes

“One of the strongest of contemporary conventions is that of comparing to Thoreau every writer who has been as far out of the house as the mailbox.”
Wendell Berry, What Are People For?

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