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Biography of W.S. Merwin

W.S. Merwin

W.S. Merwin (1927 - Present)

William Stanley (W.S.) Merwin was born on September 30, 1927 in New York City and grew up in Union City, New Jersey, and Scranton, Pennsylvania. He was graduated from Princeton University and worked as a tutor in Europe and translator.

From 1956 to 1957 Merwin was also playwright-in-residence at the Poet's Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts and poetry editor at The Nation in 1962. Besides being a prolific poet (he has published over fifteen volumes of his works) he is also a respected translator of Spanish, French, and Latin poetry, including Dante's Purgatorio. Merwin is probably best known for his poetry about the Vietnam War, and can be included among the canon of Vietnam War-era poets which includes such luminaries as Robert Bly, Adrienne Rich, Denise Levertov, Robert Lowell, Allen Ginsburg and Yousef Komunyakaa.

In 1998 Merwin wrote Folding Cliffs: A Narrative, an ambitious novel-in-verse about Hawaiian history and legend.


Biography by: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License and uses material adapted in whole or in part from the Wikipedia article on W.S. Merwin.


23 Poems written by W.S. Merwin

The poems are by default sorted according to volume, but you can also choose to sort them alphabetically or by page views.

Volume | Alphabetically | [Page Views] | Comments | First Lines


Page ViewsPoemComments
16220 Yesterday Comments and analysis of Yesterday by W.S. Merwin 54 Comments
7865 For The Anniversary Of My Death Comments and analysis of For The Anniversary Of My Death by W.S. Merwin 2 Comments
7484 Air Comments and analysis of Air by W.S. Merwin 18 Comments
5696 When You Go Away
5400 For A Coming Extinction
4866 The Speed Of Light Comments and analysis of The Speed Of Light by W.S. Merwin 2 Comments
4607 My Friends Comments and analysis of My Friends by W.S. Merwin 1 Comment
3959 Some Last Questions Comments and analysis of Some Last Questions by W.S. Merwin 1 Comment
3887 The River Of Bees
3691 Unknown Bird
3584 Any Time Comments and analysis of Any Time by W.S. Merwin 2 Comments
3476 Wish Comments and analysis of Wish by W.S. Merwin 1 Comment
3259 Before The Flood Comments and analysis of Before The Flood by W.S. Merwin 17 Comments
2911 The Source
2706 Beggars And Kings
2664 Whenever I Go There
2628 Vehicles
2625 December Night
2592 It Is March
2527 The Burnt Child
2183 Term Comments and analysis of Term by W.S. Merwin 1 Comment
267 The Ships Are Made Ready In Silence
246 Green Fields


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