Unchopping a Tree (Hardcover)
Trinity University Press, 9781595341877, 45pp.
Publication Date: February 25, 2014
List Price: 14.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
There's no mystery to chopping down a tree. But how do you put back together a tree that's been felled? Mystical instructions are required, and that's what W. S. Merwin provides in his prose piece "Unchopping a Tree," appearing for the first time in a self-contained volume. Written with a poet's grace, an ecologist's insights, and a Buddhist's reverence for life, this elegant work describes the difficult, sacred job of reconstructing a tree. Step by step, page by page, with Merwin's humble authority, secrets are revealed, and the destroyed tree rises from the forest floor. Unchopping a Tree opens with simplicity and grace: "Start with the leaves, the small twigs, and the nest that have been shaken, ripped, or broken off by the fall; these must be gathered and attached once again to their respective places." W. S. Merwin, like many conservationists, is quick to say: "When we destroy the so-called natural world around us we're simply destroying ourselves. And I think it's irreversible." Thus the tree takes on a scale that begs the reader's compassion, and one tree is a parable for the restoration of all nature.
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