Wendell Berry Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old Wendell Berry quotes, Wendell Berry sayings, and Wendell Berry proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.

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
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 earth is what we all have in common. Wendell Berry
...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
Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts. Wendell Berry
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
All right, every day ain't going to be the best day of your life, don't worry about that. If you stick to it you hold the possibility open that you will have better days. Wendell Berry
For any sin, we all suffer. That is why our suffering is endless. Wendell Berry
We're trying to give the young people something that can help them, and we don't know exactly what it ought to be. Wendell Berry
We conservatives bemoan the decline in values that has besieged our society. Why then should we not abhor the lack of morality involved in discharging untested chemicals into the air, ground, and water to alter and harm, to whatever degree, human life and wildlife? As a conservative, I do abhor it. Wendell Berry
If you start a conversation with the assumption that you are right or that you must win, obviously it is difficult to talk. Wendell Berry
To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival. Wendell Berry
A Sustainable Agriculture does not deplete soils or people. Wendell Berry
A sustainable agriculture is one which depletes neither the people nor the land. Wendell Berry
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
Individualism is going around these days in uniform, handing out the party line on individualism. Wendell Berry
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
In this state of total consumerism-which is to say a state of helpless dependence on things and services and ideas and motives that we have forgotten how to provide ourselves-all meaningful contact between ourselves and the earth is broken. We do not understand the earth in terms either of what it offers us or of what it requires of us, and I think it is the rule that people inevitably destroy what they do not understand. Wendell Berry
An economy genuinely local and neighborly offers to localities a measure of security that they cannot derive from a national or a global economy controlled by people who, by principle, have no local commitment. 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
All we can do to prepare rightly for tomorrow is to do the right thing today. Wendell Berry
Poetry can be written only because it has been written. Wendell Berry
The ability to speak exactly is intimately related to the ability to know exactly. Wendell Berry
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
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
A corporation, essentially, is a pile of money to which a number of persons have sold their moral allegiance. Wendell Berry
Reverence makes it possible to be whole, though ignorant. It is the wholeness of understanding. Wendell Berry
Under the pavement the dirt is dreaming of grass. Wendell Berry
Only by restoring the broken connections can we be healed. Connection is health. Wendell Berry
Sabbath observance invites us to stop. It invites us to rest. It asks us to notice that while we rest, the world continues without our help. It invites us to delight in the world's beauty and abundance. Wendell Berry