W. S. Merwin Archive
Almost every poem in Victoria Chang’s new collection gets its title from a W. S. Merwin poem of the same name. Both poets seem to believe in the idea that history and life are really just ongoing cycles designed to propel us forward, just as they also keep us
In the hyperbole of “apocalypse,” in the rhetorical design that anticipates a time predicted forever, a poem that meditates on the end of the world situates itself somewhere between prophecy and historical memory. An end has been ongoing—and changing—since the first mention of the end.
W.S. Merwin loves mornings. In his more than fifty books, the former US Poet Laureate and winner of the Pulitzer Prize depicts morning’s beauty in mist, light, shadow, and birdsong. As Merwin captures these moments of nature’s awakening, he reveals the depths of his own awakenings too.
I see the aphorism as a flag the poem is waving, a point of contact, or discovery, that exists only in relation to the space around it: poem, aphorism, more poem, then reaching into blank space. When an aphorism stands alone, there’s no more poem around it, just the