Berry’s Sabbath poems embrace much that is elemental to human life--beauty, death, peace, and hope.In his preface to the collection, Berry writes about the growing audience for public poetry readings. While he sees poetry in the public eye as a good thing, Berry asks us to recognize the private life of the poem. These Sabbath poems were written "in silence, in solitude, and mainly out of doors," and tell us about "moments when heart and mind are open and aware."Many years of writing have won Wendell Berry the affection of a broad public. He is beloved for his quiet, steady explorations of nature, his emphasis on finding good work to do in the world, and his faith in the solace of family, memory, and community. His poetry is assured and unceasingly spiritual; its power lies in the strength of the truths revealed.
The public performance of poetry, writes Wendell Berry in the preface to A Timbered Choir, has become vogue in the English-speaking world. Yet, he counters, his poems are created in silence and solitude, which may be the best way to read these thoughtful lyrics about country life, verses populated by trees, horses, rivers, and stars. This volume gathers nearly 20 years' worth of Berry's Sabbath poems, written after Sunday morning walks across the fields and bottomlands of northern Kentucky.