Winner of the National Book Award, Migration is the definitive Merwin volume. Now in paperback.
Publishers WeeklyMystical formalist, elegant romantic, Vietnam-era protester, translator, maker of sweet memoirs and uneasy dreamscapes, and ecological activist, Merwin has been so prominent for so long that it's hard to believe this rich selection represents the work of just one man. The earliest Merwin-a melancholy 1950s craftsman-gets the first 70 pages, including the bejeweled verse fairy tale "East of the Sun and West of the Sun." The haunting free verse of the next two decades includes the sad, urgent protest poems of The Lice (1967) and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Carrier of Ladders (1970). Merwin's attraction to instinct and mystery drew his poems toward totemic, resonant images, in lines which imitated chants and prayers. The Rain in the Trees (1988) concerned the forests and coasts of Hawaii, where the poet still lives. His longer, more recent works offer personal memories; "Testimony" (from 1999's The River Sound) takes 56 pages to run through the poet's whole life. Even there-and in the few, lyrical, controlled new poems at the very end of the volume-Merwin retains a sense of terse whispering, and a graceful attraction to silence; his verse comes, if anyone's does, from "the eye of the mind where we know/ from the beginning that the darkness/ is beyond us." (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library JournalElegant yet evocative, intellectually challenging yet utterly uninterested in experimental excess, the poems in this collection represent Merwin's efforts to perfect his craft over five fruitful decades. "What you do not have you will find/ everywhere," and you will find everything here. A National Book Award winner. (LJ 3/1/05) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
- Copper Canyon Press
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- 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)
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