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Thereâs no mystery to chopping down a tree. But how do you put back together a tree thatâs been felled? Mystical instructions are required, and thatâs what W. S. Merwin provides in his prose piece ÂUnchopping a Tree,â appearing for the first time in a self-contained volume. Written with a poetâs grace, an ecologistâs insights, and a Buddhistâs reverence for life, this elegant work describes the difficult, sacred job of reconstructing a tree. Step by step, page by page, with Merwinâs humble authority, secrets are revealed, and the destroyed tree rises from the forest floor. Unchopping a Tree opens with simplicity and grace: ÂStart 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.â W. S. Merwin, like many conservationists, is quick to say: ÂWhen we destroy the so-called natural world around us weâre simply destroying ourselves. And I think itâs irreversible.â Thus the tree takes on a scale that begs the readerâs compassion, and one tree is a parable for the restoration of all nature.