The Shadow of Sirius

( 6 )

Overview

The nuanced mysteries of light, darkness, temporality, and eternity interweave throughout Merwin's newest collection of poems. "I have only what I remember," he admits, and his memories are focused and profound - well-cultivated loves, the distinct qualities of autumnal light, memories of Pennsylvania miners, a conversation with a boyhood teacher, and "our long evenings and astonishment." From the universe's chiaroscuro shadows, Merwin once again calls upon the language of surprise to illuminate existence. He is ...
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Overview

The nuanced mysteries of light, darkness, temporality, and eternity interweave throughout Merwin's newest collection of poems. "I have only what I remember," he admits, and his memories are focused and profound - well-cultivated loves, the distinct qualities of autumnal light, memories of Pennsylvania miners, a conversation with a boyhood teacher, and "our long evenings and astonishment." From the universe's chiaroscuro shadows, Merwin once again calls upon the language of surprise to illuminate existence. He is writing at the peak of his powers.

2009 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry Winner!

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Editorial Reviews

Stephen Burt
As in all of his verse since the late 1960s, Merwin does away with punctuation, letting line breaks and sense determine syntax and pace. The results suggest whispers, laments, accounts of long-ago memories, even voices from an underworld
—The New York Times
Library Journal

Having published over 50 books since 1952, Merwin could be excused for resting on his laurels. Instead, he continues to work hard, here offering poems clearly formed in a refiner's fire. "Somewhere the Perseids are falling/ but in the stillness after the rain ends/ nothing is to be heard but the drops falling." Wisely, without bitterness, these poems capture that essential stillness.


—Barbara Hoffert
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556592843
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Pages: 120
  • Sales rank: 693,569
  • Product dimensions: 9.18 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author


W.S. Merwin is the author of over fifty books of poetry, prose, and translations. He has earned every major literary prize, most recently the National Book Award for Migration: New and Selected Poems. He lives in Hawaii where he raised endangered palm trees.
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Table of Contents

The Nomad Flute 5

Blueberries After Dark 6

Still Morning 7

By the Avenue 8

Note 9

Accompaniment 10

Without Knowing 11

The Song of the Trolleys 12

From the Start 14

Far Along in the Story 15

The Pinnacle 16

Child Light 18

Empty Lot 20

No 21

The Piano 22

Secrets 23

A Likeness 25

Raiment 26

Europe 28

Photographer 29

Traces 31

Inheritance 32

A Broken Glass 34

Lament for a Stone 35

A Note from the Cimmerians 36

A Codex 37

Beyond Question 38

Youth 39

By Dark 43

Calling a Distant Animal 44

Night with No Moon 45

Good Night 46

At the Bend 47

Into the Cloud 48

Another Dream of Burial 49

A Ring 50

Little Soul 51

Trail Marker 52

Dream of Koa Returning 53

Cargo 57

Going 58

The Curlew 59

Nocturne 60

Day without a Name 61

Recognitions 62

Escape Artist 63

The Mole 64

Eye of Shadow 66

A Letter to Ruth Stone 67

Worn Words 68

A Letter to Su Tung-p'o 69

Basho's Child 70

The Odds 71

The Long and the Short of It 72

Unknown Age 73

My Hand 74

What the Bridges Hear 75

The First Days 76

Heartland 78

Long Afternoon Light 79

Cave 80

The Morning Hills 81

Cold Spring Morning 82

Near Field 83

To Paula in Late Spring 84

Youth of Grass 85

The Silence of the Mine Canaries 86

Walled Place above the River 88

A Horse Heaven 90

One of the Butterflies 91

Parts of a Tune 92

Nocturne II 93

White Note 94

Gray Herons in the Field above the River 95

No Shadow 96

The Making of Amber 97

September's Child 98

Remembering the Wings 99

Shadow Hand 100

Barrade 101

Into October 102

Lights Out 103

Falling 104

Grace Note 105

One Valley 106

The Old Trees on the Hill 107

ASingle Autumn 108

Lake Shore in Half Light 109

A Momentary Creed 110

Rain Light 111

Just This 112

The Laughing Thrush 113

Animula: A Late Visitation 114

About the Author 117

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Merwin is Magic

    I am a poetry lover and got introduced to Merwin through a reading on the Writer's Almanac and an interview of WS on NPR.

    This work is a capstone and an elegant tapestry of a man embracing life in later years - reflecting back to remembered scenes and relationships and writing forward to his own demise.

    Merwin is neither nostalgic nor sentimental but his words paint real pictures that draw on universal human experiences as filtered through his own life.

    Read slowly and enjoy as meditation.

    WS - thanks for letting us in!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Why I'm Into This Book

    A few months ago I was reading Merwin's Collected Poems qand I enjoyed the experience. I was not, however, expecting a new collection. Then I heard Terry Gross interview the author on Fresh Aire and was charmed. I rushed right out to The King's English (a grand independent bookshop in Salt Lake City) and snapped it up. I'm reading it now. I don't know why, but Merwin's poems bring out a deep resonance in my voice when I read them aloud--a very different voice for me. I'll post a more thoughtful review later. I'm looking forward to a slow and joyous read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted December 21, 2008

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