The Feeling of Awe

on August 11, 2010 with 0 comments » | ,

I have been reading and enjoying Merwin's poetry lately and started reading some of his prose pieces (The Book of Fables) last night but could not really get into it much. So, instead I looked up some critical articles and interviews with Merwin on JSTOR. Reading an interview from 1988, I found this paragraph which I thought was worth transcribing and saving because it really echoes the way I usually feel about human endeavors and ventures on earth!
I don't see that our culture and our species are behaving in a more enlightened and gentle and harmonious fashion now than we were twenty years ago. And the cause of the anger is, I suppose, the feeling of destruction, watching the destruction of things that I care passionately about. If we're so stupid that we choose to destroy each other and ourselves, that's bad enough; but if we destroy the whole life on the planet! And I'm not talking about a big bang; I'm talking about something that is happening as we are sitting here talking about it - the destruction of the seas, the destruction of species after species, the destruction of the forests. These are not replaceable. We can't suddenly decide years down the line that we made a mistake and put it all back. The feeling of awe - something that we seem to be losing - is essential for survival.

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