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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
6480 For A Coming Extinction
6136 When You Go Away
5409 The Speed Of Light Comments and analysis of The Speed Of Light by W.S. Merwin 2 Comments
5164 My Friends Comments and analysis of My Friends by W.S. Merwin 1 Comment
4704 Some Last Questions Comments and analysis of Some Last Questions by W.S. Merwin 3 Comments
4653 The River Of Bees
4551 Any Time Comments and analysis of Any Time by W.S. Merwin 10 Comments
4436 Wish Comments and analysis of Wish by W.S. Merwin 1 Comment
4419 Unknown Bird
4257 Before The Flood Comments and analysis of Before The Flood by W.S. Merwin 33 Comments
3569 Beggars And Kings
3542 December Night Comments and analysis of December Night by W.S. Merwin 5 Comments
3506 The Source
3374 Whenever I Go There
3276 Vehicles
3091 The Burnt Child
2762 Term Comments and analysis of Term by W.S. Merwin 1 Comment
1357 The Ships Are Made Ready In Silence
953 Air Comments and analysis of Air by W.S. Merwin 214 Comments
796 Green Fields
783 Yesterday Comments and analysis of Yesterday by W.S. Merwin 263 Comments
217 It Is March
13 For The Anniversary Of My Death Comments and analysis of For The Anniversary Of My Death by W.S. Merwin 2 Comments


Books by W.S. Merwin
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