Thursday, April 18, 2019

Poem In Your Pocket

Today, on Poem-In-Your-Pocket Day, I'm sharing a Wendell Berry poem that I recently found at the library. It's a new one to me, but says so much, like so much of his other poetry.

To My Mother
by Wendell Berry

I was your rebellious son,
do you remember? Sometimes
I wonder if you do remember,
so complete has your forgiveness been.

So complete has your forgiveness been
I wonder sometimes if it did not
precede my wrong, and I erred,
safe found, within your love,

prepared ahead of me, the way home,
or my bed at night, so that almost
I should forgive you, who perhaps
foresaw the worst that I might do,

and forgave before I could act,
causing me to smile now, looking back,
to see how paltry was my worst,
compared to your forgiveness of it

already given. And this, then,
is the vision of that Heaven of which
we have heard, where those who love
each other have forgiven each other,

where, for that, the leaves are green,
the light a music in the air,
and all is unentangled,
and all is undismayed. 
"To My Mother" by Wendell Berry, from Entries. © Pantheon Books, 1994


  1. What a wonderful poem! It so captures the relationship between mother and child (or, more accurately, mother and teenager).

  2. Truer words... thank you for sharing this new-to-me-also poem!

  3. Oh Bonny, this is beautiful! That vision of Heaven is one I'll carry with me ... what a perfect gift for my pocket - thank you!

  4. This is particularly precious to me. Thank you, Bonny. XO

  5. Love this one Bonny. New to me also and, like Mary, the vision of Heaven is wonderful. Thank you for sharing. (Nice pic of your boys too!!)

  6. Beautiful Bonny. Thank-you and those boys are looking good!

  7. Your sons look so similar, yet so different - are their personalities like that too?
    Many of your poems I like to save because they are so pertinent to me also. Thanks.

  8. A lovely poem for all of us who choose to remember how we challenged our mothers and yet continued to receive unconditional love. Even at my age, I remember how I challenged my mother and how she loved me anyway; a lovely memory. Thanks for sharing this, Bonny!

  9. The love (and forgiveness) of a mother is a universal theme, and yet it is so personal. Berry says so well what we feel.

  10. What a lovely poem, thanks for sharing!

  11. beautiful poem and beautiful sons!!

  12. Wendell Berry is so eloquent. I wasn't familiar with this poem either so thank you for finding it. What handsome sons! You must be very proud of them.

  13. That's a beautiful poem and I bet it's just how your sons feel about you.

  14. Elder Son went through a very judgemental time in college, to the point that I really didn't care if I saw or talked to him. He has mellowed and apparently forgiven me for whatever he judged me harshly for back then. And I have forgiven him. This poem really spoke to me.


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