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William Stanley (W.S.) Merwin was born on September 30, 1927 in New York City and grew up in Union City, New Jersey, and Scranton, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Princeton University and worked as a tutor in Europe and translator. In a career spanning five decades, W.S. Merwin, poet, translator, and environmental activist, has become one of the most widely read poets in America. The son of a Presbyterian minister, for whom he began writing hymns at the age of five, Merwin went to Europe as a young man and developed a love of languages that led to work as a literary translator. Over the years, his poetic voice has moved from the more formal and medieval - to a more distinctly American voice. W.S. Merwin?s recent poetry is perhaps his most personal, arising from his deeply held beliefs. He is not only profoundly anti-imperialist, pacifist, and environmentalist, but also possessed by an intimate feeling for landscape and language and the ways in which land and language interflow. His poems are densely imagistic and full of an intimate awareness of the natural world. For over thirty years he has been living in a remote area of Hawaii, restoring, inch by inch an abandoned pineapple farm to its original rain-forest-like state.