Friday, May 14, 2010

Wendell Berry's Questionnaire

I ran across this poem on another blog (ruminations from the distant hills) and couldn't resist reprinting it.
1. How much poison are you willing
to eat for the success of the free
market and global trade? Please
name your preferred poisons.

_____________   __________   ________

2. For the sake of goodness, how much
evil are you willing to do?
Fill in the following blanks
with the names of your favorite
evils and acts of hatred.

______________  ___________    ___________

3. What sacrifices are you prepared
to make for culture and civilization?
Please list the monuments, shrines,
and works of art you would
most willingly destroy.

______________ ____________  ______________

4. In the name of patriotism and
the flag, how much of our beloved
land are you willing to desecrate?
List in the following spaces
the mountains, rivers, towns, farms
you could most readily do without.

__________    __________________         ____________________

5. State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes,
the energy sources, the kinds of security,
for which you would kill a child.
Name, please, the children whom
you would be willing to kill.

____________ _________ _______________

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estaminet said...

Wendell Berry seems to be a theme in my life today. I just finished reading this great entry on "Dirty Sexy Ministry" that quotes another of his poems - you might like it.

Martin H. said...

A poem to make us sit up and think. A world to give us cause to holding that thought.

Brian Miller said...

nicely done...eye opening...and makes you think...

NCmountainwoman said...

So appropriate for this day and age. Should be required reading for members of Congress.

willow said...

Powerful piece and well worth reprinting!

Vicki Lane said...

Oh, thank you, estaminet! A fine poem -- and another fine blog (if for nothing more than the title!)

As NCmountainwoman said -- this poem should be required reading for EVERYONE!

Merisi said...

I agree with what the author is trying to tell us, but why free markets and global trade get blamed is beyond me. Remember the Soviet Union and its satellite states? No free markets, restricted trade, what a paradise it was!

As far as free markets are concerned, nobody forces us to run to the big box stores buying cheap imports made under sweatshop conditions. We are indeed free to chose something produced locally, paying the farmer or the craftsperson what is a living wage. We can also support Fair Trade by buying the goods imported that way. Too expensive? Well, we can't have it both ways.


We live in a state of denial. Berry is trying to open our eyes.-- barbara

Friko said...

Weeeeeeeell, if you put it like that . . . . . . .

Vicki Lane said...

Good point, Merisi! Especially since the European Common Market is far more restrictive of things like genetically-altered corn, etc. I read it, though , as Berry warning us against just the abuses you mention -- sweatshops, etc. Not to mention the questionable products, mainly from China, that have been recalled -- dog food comes to mind.

It's not always cheap or easy to do the right thing. Reminders never hurt as I struggle to do better.

Deanna said...

That one hit home. Thank you.