This week I’ve been reading W. S. Merwin’s new book, Garden Time. It’s beautiful and calm and melancholy, just what I needed this week. Mr. Merwin is 89, and losing his eyesight; I read that these poems were dictated to his wife, Paula.
He’s one of this country’s most prolific writers; I think I first read his work when I was in high school (his translation of Neruda’s Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair) and then again a few years later with his introduction to a volume of selected poems by Thomas Wyatt. Mr. Merwin’s own poem “Berryman” is one of my favorites, one of my writerly touchstones.
Anyway, “The Morning,” the poem that opens Garden Time, is worth the price of admission. I love it, and its phrases have been flitting in my mind for days. I hope you’ll love it too.
What are you reading this week?
6 thoughts on ““Would I love it this way”: W.S. Merwin’s “The Morning””
I just read the whole of “Berryman” and I LOVE IT.
Right? I keep meaning to print it out and frame it, then hang it over my desk.
You should! I did the same (well, handwrote) with a poem called “Reasons To Survive November” by Tony Hoagland, a few years ago. It got me through some times.
“The Morning” is beautiful, especially “red torment of body or gray void of grief.” I’d never read anything by Merwin before; thanks for bringing him to my attention! Is there one volume by him you’d recommend as a starting point?
I love Merwin! Wasn’t aware he had a new book. The Morning is amazing.
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