The Merwin Conservancy Monthly e-Newsletter
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As our virtual benefit event
Garden of Verses got underway on September 30, even before the first images of the garden appeared on the screen, I found myself moved to tears. The chat box had flooded with greetings from around the globe: Aloha from Connecticut, Hello from Montana, Greetings from the Cayman Islands. Friends new and old, near and far, joined us from 45 states, and 16 countries.  And now, a few weeks later, 1,400 people have watched our celebration of William’s birthday and legacy as a poet, ecologist, and activist. I am heartened that despite the isolation and uncertainty of our times (and perhaps in some ways because of them) we came together around resilience, resolve, poetry, place. It was a joy to invite you into William and Paula’s home and garden, and to share our vision for furthering regeneration of language, thought, land, and community. A heartfelt thank you to our special guests, whose eloquence and generosity created such beautiful momentum for the Conservancy, and to all who were inspired to make a gift in support of our work. 

If you didn’t have a chance to watch Garden of Verses or would like to watch it again, you will find a link below. You’ll also find a link to the list of poems read by our guest contributors, along with time stamps so you can easily revisit your favorite readings. We will keep our presentation up and available for viewing until Tuesday, October 27. Please share the link, and encourage others to join us in stewarding this legacy and the place born of it. 

Sending aloha your way,


P.S. Whether you are new to our monthly mailing list or you’ve been with us for a while, you can update your preferences here.


Watch "Garden of Verses" 
Watch Here
Lunar Landscape
Nobody can tell you
anything new about
moonlight you have seen it
for yourself as many
times as necessary

nobody else ever saw
it as it appeared to you
you have heard all about it
but in the words of others
so that you fell asleep

it was photographed but
somewhere else and without
what was happening inside
its light and whenever it
was rhymed it disappeared

you cannot depend on
it use it for much send
it anywhere sell it
keep it for yourself bring
it back when it has left

and while it is lighting
the ocean like a name while
it is awake in the leaves
you do not need to look at it
to know it is not there

— W.S. Merwin, from his book Travels (1994, Albert A. Knopf), used by permission of the publishers. Copyright © 1994 by W. S. Merwin.  

This poem was recently read by Hawai‘i-based poet Cathy Song during our broadcast event, Garden of Verses.

Read More Poems from Garden of Verses
Storied Objects

W.S. Merwin’s typewriter came out of the attic this week, paper still in the platen, and E key stuck. This little machine brought poems to the page and beauty to the world. Our turn to continue its work.

View this Storied Object
The Sitting Room
Revisit this meditative video, filmed in W.S. Merwin's garden dojo.
Visit the Sitting Room
Be a part of our work.
Help us to further regeneration in language, thought, land, and community.
The Merwin Conservancy inspires innovation in the arts and sciences by advancing the ideas of W.S. Merwin – his life, work, house and palm forest – as fearless and graceful examples of the power of imagination and renewal.

Please join the conversation with us on social media:

Featured photos by Sherrie Austin/Austin ImageWorks, Andrea Perkins, Sayler/Morris, and Michael Lock.

Copyright © 2020 The Merwin Conservancy, All rights reserved.

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