Monday, August 9, 2010

The Real Work, by Wendell Berry


The Real Work

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,

and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.

by Wendell Berry, from Collected Poems, 1987


  1. This is a great thought, but it's actually a section of lineated prose taken from the essay "Poetry and Marriage" found in Mr. Berry's Standing by Words. All the best to you.

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  3. Thank you, brtom, for solving a mystery for me. I've been trying to locate the source of The Real Work so I could purchase it. I love poetry, and wish to support poets, such as the glorious Wendell Berry, by buying some of his work. The Writer's Almanac identified these lines as from Standing by Words, but I could not locate a place in that volume that identified it as a poem within an essay collection.