Wednesday, 17 of September of 2014

W.S. Merwin – For A Coming Extinction

W. S. Merwin was born in New York City on September 30, 1927. He grew up on the corner of Fourth Street and New York Avenue in Union City, New Jersey until 1936, when his family moved to Scranton, Pennsylvania.

As a child, he was enamored of the natural world, sometimes finding himself talking to the large tree in his back yard.

He was also fascinated with things that he saw as links to the past, such as the building behind his home that had once been a barn that housed a horse and carriage. 

At the age of five he started writing out hymns for his father. From Wikipedia

 

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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

I write as though you could understand
And I could say it
One must always pretend something
Among the dying
When you have left the seas nodding on their stalks
Empty of you
Tell him that we were made
On another day

The bewilderment will diminish like an echo
Winding along your inner mountains
Unheard by us
And find its way out
Leaving behind it the future
Dead
And ours

When you will not see again
The whale calves trying the light
Consider what you will find in the black garden
And its court
The sea cows the Great Auks the gorillas
The irreplaceable hosts ranged countless
And fore-ordaining as stars
Our sacrifices
Join your work to theirs
Tell him
That it is we who are important

from The Lice


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