March 22, 2008

A testament of betrayals

From the Poetry Foundation's writeup about the poet, W. S. Merwin
Merwin's despair over the desecration of nature is strongly expressed in his collection The Lice. Lieberman commented: "To read these poems is an act of self-purification. Every poem in the book pronounces a judgement against modern men—the gravest sentence the poetic imagination can conceive for man's withered and wasted conscience: our sweep of history adds up to one thing only, a moral vacuity that is absolute and irrevocable. This book is a testament of betrayals; we have betrayed all beings that had power to save us: the forest, the animals, the gods, the dead, the spirit in us, the words. Now, in our last moments alive, they return to haunt us."

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