As It Was in the Beginning

The Toni Morrison Lectures
April 20, 2016 5:30 PM
McCosh Hall, Room 10
The Toni Morrison Lectures
April 20, 2016 5:30 PM
McCosh Hall, Room 10
The first talk of three delivered by Wole Soyinka at Princeton University in the spring of 2016
Presenters:
Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka

Let us consider for instance whether trees should not be held responsible for capital punishment. If they were not around perhaps no one would have conceived of hanging as a way to place human beings permanently out of circulation.
-Wole Soyinka

Perhaps the most easily apprehended distillation of the affinities we have to trees whether as poet, teacher, activist, ruminant or just plain citizen, plain human being, is that even when ignored, taken for granted, even neglected, trees do transform their environment just like humanity in metamorphose.

Like humanity they pass through transformative stages. From seed where they may be tended in a nursery, the very expression that we apply to infants. The young shoot just rub up and eventually through the majestic entity creates its own aura, alone, or with others. Both possibilities can merge into or dominate the environment.

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