We may think the bomb is back, but it never really went away
The scourge of military sexual assault and the warrior’s masculine code
Why is the seminal work of the great American transcendentalist held in such scorn today?
An ephemeral birthmark is a rare gift, connecting me to generations spanning the centuries
Much to my regret, I never truly knew the woman who helped raise me
As a writer walks and muses, the world’s sorrows intrude upon the peaceful streets he will be leaving
W. S. Merwin, one of the most celebrated and prolific poets of his generation, died last Friday at the age of 91. A former U.S. poet laureate and the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, Merwin was also known for his work as a conservationist. After moving to Hawaii in the 1970s, he began the decades-long project of restoring different plant species to the former pineapple plantation where he lived. Merwin was notoriously difficult to contact, but in the fall of last year, John Kaag managed to interview him over the phone. Merwin, he reports, repeated the same lines throughout their conversation: “The time of wisdom cannot be measured, and, for me, wisdom is the garden. There is no time in the garden.” In an essay for the Scholar, Kaag explores this relationship between gardening and the passage of time, and how it is reflected in Merwin’s life and poetry.
The legendary New York Review of Books editor knew everybody, had read everything, and oversaw every stage of what he published
Unraveling the mystery of why people act as they do
Most Americans assume society is more egalitarian than it is
The flavor of food is produced by all of the senses
The poet whose bucolic lyrics defined a generation
A writer who refused to live in a world robbed of meaning
What relation does art bear to suffering?
A marriage of convenience that yielded an intelligence bonanza