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The Ends of the Earth


List Price: $15.00

June 14, 2005 | Paperback | 5.5 x 8.25, 288 Pages | ISBN 9781593760687
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"Merwin not only takes us to enchanting places, he is the most convivial of companions on the journey." —New Leader

W. S. Merwin is widely acknowledged as one of the finest living poets in English. Less well known is the power and range of his work in prose. For his first new prose collection in more than ten years, The Ends of the Earth, Merwin has gathered eight essays that show the breadth of his imagination and sympathy. A memoir of George Kirstein, publisher of The Nation, stands alongside one of Sydney Parkinson, explorer, naturalist and artist on Captain James Cook’s Endeavour. A wonderful portrait of the French explorer of Hawai’i, Jean-Francois Galaup de La Perouse is followed by a visit to the Neanderthal skeleton of Boffia Bonneval. There are treks through the Hawaiian forests, to the Holy Mountain of Athos, and with the butterflies in Mexico. For this magical and wondrous journey we have as our guide the excited and concise poet-naturalist, writing at the top of his form.

About W. S. Merwin

W.S. MERWIN is the author of many highly regarded books of poetry and prose, for which he has received the Pulitzer Prize, the Bollingen Award, and numerous other awards. He lives in Hawai’i.


“Diverse collection of essays on topics ranging from 18th-century explorers to monasteries and butterflies, all of which Merwin makes fascinating. His prose, glinting and gracious, pulses with the warmth that comes from being truly captivated by a subject.” —Kirkus

“Merwin not only takes us to enchanting places, he is the most convivial of companions on the journey.” —New Leader

“The Ends of the Earth, though distinguished by the grace and sensitivity of its prose, is also informed by Merwin’s great knowledge of local social and natural history, politics and economics. For those who admire Merwin’s poetry, these satisfying essays will broaden appreciation of both the man and the writer.” —Providence Journal Bulletin

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