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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.


Wendell Berry, "Enemies" from Entries: Poems. Copyright © 1994 by Wendell Berry.  Reprinted by permission of Random House, Inc..

Source: Indivisible: Poems for Social Justice (Norwood House Press, 2013)

  • Relationships

Poet Bio

Wendell Berry
Poet, novelist, and environmentalist, Wendell Berry lives on a farm in Port Royal, Kentucky near his birthplace. Mistrustful of technology, he holds deep reverence for the land and is a staunch defender of agrarian values. His poetry celebrates the holiness of life and everyday miracles often taken for granted. See More By This Poet

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