THE SALAD BY WENDELL BERRY
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Berkeley. North Point Press. 1980. Softcover. Book Edition: Fine. 4 pp. Drawing by Bruce McGraw.
This charming publication of Wendell Berry’s "The Salad" poem is slim enough to fit in someone’s inside jacket pocket, but rich with leaps and invocations of worlds far beyond a bowl of greens. Following after “La Salade” by Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585), this ode to the intimacy of herbal assemblage is an invitation to participate in the layers of the text itself. Moving through implied romance, allusions to classic literature, and eventual existentialism, Berry’s text stays true to its initial earnest sweetness: “Step by step, still rambling, let us go / Back home. Rolling our sleeves to the elbow, / We’ll wash our greens…” and from there, his discursive concoction is on its way.