• picture
  • picture
  • picture
  • picture
Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Wendell Berry Poem

Air Date: Week of

Writer Wendell Berry reads his short poem, The Wild, about finding nature even in the most urban setting.


CURWOOD: Many people think of New York City as a mass of concrete and steel, with few places beyond the parks where nature can flourish. Writer Wendell Berry found one such place. It was back in the 1960s in a vacant lot in the Bronx. And it became the subject for one of his short poems called "The Wild."

BERRY: In the empty lot,
A place not natural but wild,
Among the trash of human absence,
The slough and shamble of the city's seasons,
A few old locusts bloom.
A few woods birds fly and sing in the new foliage.
Warblers and tanagers. Birds wild as leaves.
In a million each one would be rare, new to the eyes.
A man couldn't make a habit of such color, such flight and singing.
But they are the habit of this wasted place.
In them, the ground is wise.
They are its remembrance of what it is.

(Music up and under)

CURWOOD: Wendell Berry's poems are an occasional feature of Living on Earth. Coming up, we'll meet you at the intersection of Madison Avenue and nature. Keep listening to Living on Earth.



Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

Living on Earth
62 Calef Highway, Suite 212
Lee, NH 03861
Telephone: 617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Newsletter [Click here]

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.

Creating positive outcomes for future generations.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.

Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth