by W.S. Merwin
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 this year.
believer in shade
believer in silence and elegance
believer in ferns
believer in patience
believer in the rain”
“Obviously a garden is not the wilderness but an assembly of shapes, most of them living, that owes some share of its composition, it’s appearance, to human design and effort, human conventions and convenience, and the human pursuit of that elusive, indefinable harmony that we call beauty. It has a life of its own, an intricate, willful, secret life, as any gardener knows. It is only the humans in it who think of it as a garden. But a garden is a relationship, which is one of the countless reasons why it is never finished.”
“On the last day of the world I would want to plant a tree.”