Posted in poem of the week

Poem of the Week: “Questionnaire”

It’s the beginning of classes here at MSU, and Poem of the Week is back! This poem is very poignant, and I think it gives us all something to think about.

Questionnaire

By Wendell Berry

How much poison are you willing
to eat for the success of the free
market and global trade? Please
name your preferred poisons.

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.

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

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.

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.

 “Questionnaire” by Wendell Berry from Leavings. © Counterpoint, 2010.