Enemies

Enemies
By Wendell Berry

If you are not to become a monster,

you must care what they think.

If you care what they think,

 

how will you not hate them,

and so become a monster

of the opposite kind? From where then

 

is love to come—love for your enemy

that is the way of liberty?

From forgiveness. Forgiven, they go

 

free of you, and you of them;

they are to you as sunlight

on a green branch. You must not

 

think of them again, except

as monsters like yourself,

pitiable because unforgiving.


About the author

(Excerpt from https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/wendell-berry)

Poet, novelist, and environmentalist Wendell Berry (b. 1934) lives in Port Royal, Kentucky near his birthplace, where he has maintained a farm for over 40 years. Mistrustful of technology, he holds deep reverence for the land and is a staunch defender of agrarian values. He is the author of over 50 books of poetry, fiction, and essays. His poetry celebrates the holiness of life and everyday miracles often taken for granted. In 2016, Berry was awarded the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Books Critics Circle. In 2010, Barack Obama awarded him with the National Humanities Medal. Berry’s other honors include the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Aiken Taylor Award for poetry, the John Hay Award of the Orion Society, and the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Berry’s poetry collections include This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems (2014), Given (2005), A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems 1979-1997Entries: Poems (1994), Traveling at Home (1989), The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry (1988), Collected Poems 1957-1982 (1985), Clearing (1977), There Is Singing Around Me (1976), and The Broken Ground (1964).

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