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Monthly Archives: February 2015


My review on GoodReads of this poetry book:

The Folding Cliffs: A Narrative

In January 2015, W.S. Merwin — winner of many poetry awards — was given the Champion of the Land Conservation Award by HILT, the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust. I was visiting Maui during that week, and I was also reading The Folding Cliffs. For me, this book is as much about the natural history of Kaua’i as it is about political history. Mr. Merwin’s portrayal of dramatic terrain, waterways & waterfalls, trees & ferns, birds & pigs & shellfish, weather zones, elevated caves, and burial grounds, is bewitching. Everywhere I traveled in Maui, I recognized one of the natural features or creatures appearing in Mr. Merwin’s poetic narrative. Indeed, given that several of his passages acknowledge the unreliability of human storytelling, of all personal and institutional reporting,  I infer that Nature is more trustworthy than History.

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