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December 20th, 2014 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 279,673 comments.
Wendell Berry - Do not be ashamed

You will be walking some night
in the comfortable dark of your yard
and suddenly a great light will shine
round about you, and behind you
will be a wall you never saw before.
It will be clear to you suddenly
that you were about to escape,
and that you are guilty: you misread
the complex instructions, you are not
a member, you lost your card
or never had one. And you will know
that they have been there all along,
their eyes on your letters and books,
their hands in your pockets,
their ears wired to your bed.
Though you have done nothing shameful,
they will want you to be ashamed.
They will want you to kneel and weep
and say you should have been like them.
And once you say you are ashamed,
reading the page they hold out to you,
then such light as you have made
in your history will leave you.
They will no longer need to pursue you.
You will pursue them, begging forgiveness.
They will not forgive you.
There is no power against them.
It is only candor that is aloof from them,
only an inward clarity, unashamed,
that they cannot reach. Be ready.
When their light has picked you out
and their questions are asked, say to them:
"I am not ashamed." A sure horizon
will come around you. The heron will begin
his evening flight from the hilltop.

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Added: Mar 9 2005 | Viewed: 10665 times | Comments and analysis of Do not be ashamed by Wendell Berry Comments (3)

Do not be ashamed - Comments and Information

Poet: Wendell Berry
Poem: Do not be ashamed

Comment 3 of 3, added on August 7th, 2013 at 1:47 PM.

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Comment 2 of 3, added on April 26th, 2012 at 12:01 AM.

were can i find th poem be not ashamed

rosaliua from Philippines
Comment 1 of 3, added on September 8th, 2007 at 12:25 PM.

I love this poem... it gives inspiration to not go with the status quo- to fight for yourself and not fall prey conforming groups. I taped this poem up on my son's bathroom mirror so he can read it EVERY day---keep changing, don't be a victim, stretch your own wings and FLY.

JJ McCreary from United States

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