They Sit Together on the Porch

By Wendell Berry b. 1934 Wendell Berry
They sit together on the porch, the dark
Almost fallen, the house behind them dark.
Their supper done with, they have washed and dried
The dishes–only two plates now, two glasses,
Two knives, two forks, two spoons–small work for two.
She sits with her hands folded in her lap,
At rest. He smokes his pipe. They do not speak,
And when they speak at last it is to say
What each one knows the other knows. They have
One mind between them, now, that finally
For all its knowing will not exactly know
Which one goes first through the dark doorway, bidding
Goodnight, and which sits on a while alone.

From "A Timbered Choir", by Wendell Berry. Copyright © 1998. Published and reprinted by arrangement with Counterpoint Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group (www.perseusbooks.com). All rights reserved.

Source: A Timbered Choir (Counterpoint Press, 1998)

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Poet Wendell Berry b. 1934

Subjects Men & Women, Living, Relationships, Home Life, Growing Old

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Metaphor

 Wendell  Berry

Biography

Critics and scholars have acknowledged Wendell Berry as a master of many literary genres, but whether he is writing poetry, fiction, or essays, his message is essentially the same: humans must learn to live in harmony with the natural rhythms of the earth or perish. The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture, which analyzes the many failures of modern, mechanized life, is one of the key texts of the environmental . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Men & Women, Living, Relationships, Home Life, Growing Old

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Metaphor

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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