For the Hog Killing
By Wendell Berry
Let them stand still for the bullet, and stare the shooter in
let them die while the sound of the shot is in the air, let
them die as they fall,
let the jugular blood spring hot to the knife, let its freshet
let this day begin again the change of hogs into people, not
the other way around,
for today we celebrate again our lives' wedding with the
for by our hunger, by this provisioning, we renew the
Poetry Extension: Even though this book is required
reading for the area middle school classes, I think a high school class may get more out of it. Read the poem first and discuss
the subject of survival. What different cultures eat and the rituals involved with preparation.
Have the class read the book next and discuss the father and his job of "hog killing" which he did in order
to provide for his family.
Have the children each choose a culture to research, then have them bring in a food that they made from
that culture for a snack/break time. Invite the principal and have the students take turns explaining their choices.