by W.S. Merwin
On the last day of the world,
I would want to plant a tree.
Note: Today is the birthday of the American poet WS Merwin, who always went by William, and who was born on this day in 1927.
In 2010, Merwin and his wife, Paula, co-founded the Merwin Conservancy at his home in Haiku, Maui. Merwin used the 19 protected acres surrounding his home to cultivate 400 different species of tropical trees; and many of the world's rarest palm trees. Merwin bought the property in 1977, and every day, he planted one tree.
Merwin's story is outlined in an excellent opinion piece about Merwin that was featured in the New York Times earlier in 2019.