Home > Alpha Testing > The Dream of Quoting Wendell Berry at the Rotary Club Meeting

The Dream of Quoting Wendell Berry at the Rotary Club Meeting

September 16, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

During her speech, the nutritionist had said
we can only begin with where we are
speaking of a gradual reduction of fried chicken in our diet

When question time came I rose and asked:
Were you consciously evoking Wendell Berry’s
line we can only begin with what has happened

As she nervously nodded I expressed relief:
because the whole time you’ve been talking
I’ve been thinking about those rural deaths, those
chest clutching spasms leading to a Country Funeral –
here I paused for recognition which didn’t come

I forged on heedless thinking some part of that group
that part which was raised on a farm
or at least visited their grandparents there
might recognize a line from a man
who looks so much like one of them
thinking perhaps at least that number would see
that I was trying to bridge a gap
between her expert solemnity
and the extremity they have come to

Our president stood, and pressed a cube
of Rotary notepad paper on our guest
a token of our appreciation
I sat down, applauding with the others

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  1. November 14, 2011 at 11:52 am

    So nicely done!!!

  2. January 6, 2014 at 12:16 am

    Ah. The challenge of the educated- the risk that what you hope could be a celebration of recognition will fly over heads. (Now to look up Wendell Berry) 😉

    • January 6, 2014 at 7:05 am

      Ha – google is your friend, and one reason I’m willing to reach for the more obscure, at least on this blog. 🙂

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