All through these strange times, this house and garden delight. Last week, while cataloguing W.S. Merwin’s book collection we came across an enchanting note that William wrote inside his copy of The Roaring Stream, by Nelson Foster. In this tropical environment, a bug or two might decide to take up residence in the pages of a good read. William had a word with them:
To The Book Beetles
You need the binding I see
please leave me the pages
I often hear, from those who knew William well, about his puckish sense of humor, and the smile that would lift just the corner of his mouth. I saw it myself a few times, and felt his wit in the occasional flash of his eyes. To come across traces of it now, in a note meant only for himself and a few bugs, feels to me like a wink to a broader truth of our moment: that the ability to see things differently, and to make something of what we alone envision, is to honor the power of the imagination to delight, rejuvenate, and renew our weary world.
We are eager to share a few of these intimate, potent glimpses with you at our upcoming virtual benefit event, Garden of Verses. Tomorrow, from 12-1pm HST on Wednesday, September 30, we’ll gather in celebration of William’s birthday. We will invite you to join us in stewarding a legacy that offers so much in this moment, and will continue to do so well into the future. The broadcast itself is the work of vibrant imaginations. Director of Programs & Communications Sara Tekula and Sherrie Austin of Austin ImageWorks have produced a very special experience, beautifully weaving together the voices of our special guests with footage of this singular place. You won’t want to miss a minute; the very first sequence is stunning. You’ll find a few behind-the-scenes shots below.