Thursday, July 1, 2010

W.S. Merwin--perfect!

The Library of Cogress got it right.
They've named W.S. Merwin the new U.S. poet laureate.
Nice coverage here from the NYT.

A theme of Merwin's work--humanity's separation from nature. He has "an extraordinary interest and devotion to the natural world." He's won the Pulitzer twice.

He lives in Hawaii  where is said to have cultivated more than 700 endangered species of indigenous plants on a former pineapple plantation, "including the hyophorbe indica, a palm tree he helped save from extinction."

Although raised in the Western tradition, he said he feels more affinity with an Eastern one, “being part of the universe and everything living.” With that exhilarating connection comes responsibility, however. “You don’t just exploit it and use it and throw it away any more than you would a member of your family,” he said. “You’re not separate from the frog in the pond or the cockroach in the kitchen.”
 Merwin poem:
For a Coming Extinction,” from “The Lice”:

Gray whale
Now that we are sending you to The End
That great god
Tell him
That we who follow you invented forgiveness
And forgive nothing

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