The circle of no beginning or end. And that is Hell.


Anger at humans,
my own kind –
I remember how it carried me,
joyous in self’s self-exaltation,
through a narrow opening as at birth
into the great hollow of the dark itself
where the unappeasable,
in unending revenge for revenge,
tread each alone
the circle of no
beginning or end.
And that is Hell.

~ Wendell Berry,  Sabbaths   2010  X

Credits: Portrait – Thank you Carol. Poem: Thank you Steve Layman.



  1. Reblogged this on Mistrz i Małgorzata.


  2. Reblogged this on Mistrz i Małgorzata.


  3. Reblogged this on In Search of Bliss.


  4. all negative energy


  5. I’ve beem thinking about this post all day. It reminds me of one of your earlier posts about a horseman and his paraplegic employer. The quote was something like “it’s easy to be bitter, it’s hard to live that way”. When we let our anger consume us, it is living in hell.


  6. Love, love, love Wendell Berry! Reblogging


  7. Reblogged this on Makere's Blog.


  8. Reblogged this on Teacher as Transformer and commented:
    Wendell Berry is one of my favourite poets and authors. He has a common sense way of looking at life and reminds me that we are here to care for one another and the world we live in.


  9. Reblogged this on The Iniquitous Church Crimes and commented:
    Timely piece …


  10. I had to read this a couple of times to grok all the imagery. Humans are scary critters.


    • Sandy, your thought jogged a memory from this NY Times article on Revenge:

      Revenge has the reputation of being a barbaric, shortsighted and pointless instinct, an aspect of our human makeup we ought to resist. Humanitarians take issue with it, and at any rate it is hard to argue that revenge is humane. If you, an animal, attack an antelope’s calf for reasons of hunger, you have to expect that the mother will fight back with her horns, bite and kick to protect her offspring. But only until such time as the calf is dead and gone. Then it would — according to antelope logic — be futile to continue. It would be wasting valuable energy fighting a lost cause, which no animal on the savanna can afford to do; after all, the antelope has other calves to take care of. You are left to eat your prey undisturbed.

      So why don’t humans think like this? Wouldn’t it save us a lot of unnecessary conflict if, like the antelope, we could put wrongdoing behind us, forget it and move on? Possibly. But it would make it far more tempting for others to have a go at the rest of your offspring.

      That is why revenge is more than a shortsighted and pointless instinct; it is an example of man’s sublime capacity for abstract thought. By avenging a misdeed we don’t regain what we have lost, but we ensure that misdeeds have consequences that we hope can be a deterrent in the abstract future: Your adversary knows that attacking your offspring has a cost, even if the attack is successful. Or especially if it is successful.

      ~ Jo Nesbo, Revenge, My Lovely


  11. Excellent description. 🙂 I find it difficult to imagine hell as physical place, but that, really is hell to me!


  12. Haunting…the image evokes to me a depth & a vacancy at the same time…innocence lost, mired in pain…. Wendell Berry’s words, “the circle of no beginning or end. And that is Hell” is a personal confinement in which one chooses to allow ones rage to consume long-term…I have seen bitterness in others and like cancer it destroys… consequences for the abuser hopefully ends a cycle and forgiveness from the one hurt is a merciful gift which allows the victim to continue forward in courage, strength & growth…

    Liked by 1 person

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