Heavenly Muse, Spirit who brooded on
The world and raised it shapely out of nothing,
Touch my lips with fire and burn away
All dross of speech, so that I keep in mind
The truth and end to which my words now move
In hope. Keep my mind within that Mind
Of which it is a part, whose wholeness is
The hope of sense in what I tell. And though
I go among the scatterings of that sense,
The members of its worldly body broken,
Rule my sight by vision of the parts
Rejoined. And in my exile’s journey far
From home, be with me, so I may return.
This was a very good book, which looks at what becomes of a man as he grapples with the physical loss of his right hand. Here is one part, which demonstrates how Berry can write of the human condition.
What have I done with the time? Remembering as if far back, he knows what he did with it. He stood up there in the room like a graven image of himself, telling over the catalogue of his complaints. There is a country inside him where his complaints live and do their work, where they invite him to come, offering their enticements and tidbits, the self-justifications of anger, the self-justifications of self-humiliation, the coddled griefs.