Discover more from well, actually
it will be your light
returning to a Wendell Berry poem
I have been thinking lately about a poem I first heard when my dear friend Jennifer Walters read it to a packed chapel at Smith College in September 2001. It is worth remarking that I haven’t seen anyone revisit it in the fall of 2023, when we need its words just as much.
listen to me read this poem
To my granddaughters who visited the Holocaust Museum
on the day of the burial of Yitzak Rabin, November 6th 1995.
Now you know the worst
we humans have to know
about ourselves, and I am sorry,
for I know you will be afraid.
To those of our bodies given
without pity to be burned, I know
there is no answer
but loving one another
even our enemies, and this is hard.
when a man of war becomes a man of peace,
he gives a light, divine
though it is also human.
When a man of peace is killed
by a man of war, he gives a light.
You do not have to walk in darkness.
If you have the courage for love,
you may walk in light. It will be
the light of those who have suffered
for peace. It will be
you do not have to walk in darkness