Today is the one year anniversary of our friend and founder W.S. Merwin’s death.
We are in the garden this morning, finding and keeping stillness as turmoil swirls around the globe. I am coming to understand our current moment of uncertainty and isolation as an invitation. We are lifted out of our daily routines, maybe our ruts, and invited into a place where imaginations awaken. It brings me to a deeper understanding of the way William lived his life—always fully awake to the world around him, honoring its possibilities through daily actions and practices.
Today we will read, walk, and remember William and Paula among the palms, and will imagine that many of you are doing the same, in places that are dear to you. If you’d like, share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Wishing you well,
Sonnet Coggins (executive director) and The Merwin Conservancy ʻohana
FOR THE ANNIVERSARY OF MY DEATH
Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Like the beam of a lightless star
Then I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
And bowing not knowing to what
– W.S. Merwin,“For the Anniversary of My Death” from The Second Four Books of Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 1993).
Copyright © 1993 by W. S. Merwin. Reprinted with the permission of the Merwin Estate.
A year ago today, when the world learned of W.S. Merwin’s death, many remembrances and expressions of appreciation came our way. We collected them on our website, and you can scroll through them by clicking the button below.