Friday, September 23, 2011

I Wish I'd Written This

Lovely description of a lovely love.
By 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.

Click on the title to go to's posting of They Sit Together on the Porch.  Click on the poet's name to learn more about Wendell Berry.


  1. oh he is a master
    the poem deepens so much in those last haunting lines
    Reminds me of Robert Bly's poem about the other body
    wonderful choice today
    I count myself in the company of such a couple

  2. This is quite wonderful. As a poem it is lovely, serene, sweet, comforting. But as one ages ... one is not afraid of dying ... that is normal. No, one is afraid (and that is not really the best word) of leaving the other behind ... or of being left behind. That is truly a difficult prospect.

  3. Oh this is so good - and timely, as one of my client's husband is dying. Such a good pick! Thank you.

  4. the last lines made me so sad....
    my parents are old... and it sends shivers down my spine to just think of either of them being left alone.....

    and soon, it would be my turn too.

  5. Absolutely love Wendell Berry, though I think his short stories are his true masterpieces. He has such a great grasp on human relationships and the bucolic lifestyle. Check out his "Fidelity: Five Stories" if you haven't already. I highly recommend it :)

  6. Love me some Wendell Berry. I had never read this poem. It's incredible. We used one of his poems on our wedding invitations 20 years ago.

  7. This is so revealing, time worn and sad~ Thank you for sharing!

  8. Yes, this is truly wonderful! I have come across it before and am very gad to become re-acquainted now. I love the ending: so ambiguous and yet so absolutely clear. Then again, I love all the little details in the rest of the poem, too.


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