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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
16770 Yesterday Comments and analysis of Yesterday by W.S. Merwin 250 Comments
8114 For The Anniversary Of My Death Comments and analysis of For The Anniversary Of My Death by W.S. Merwin 2 Comments
7826 Air Comments and analysis of Air by W.S. Merwin 213 Comments
5832 When You Go Away
5667 For A Coming Extinction
5032 The Speed Of Light Comments and analysis of The Speed Of Light by W.S. Merwin 2 Comments
4743 My Friends Comments and analysis of My Friends by W.S. Merwin 1 Comment
4143 Some Last Questions Comments and analysis of Some Last Questions by W.S. Merwin 2 Comments
4103 The River Of Bees
3900 Unknown Bird
3773 Any Time Comments and analysis of Any Time by W.S. Merwin 3 Comments
3718 Wish Comments and analysis of Wish by W.S. Merwin 1 Comment
3490 Before The Flood Comments and analysis of Before The Flood by W.S. Merwin 22 Comments
3060 The Source
2904 Whenever I Go There
2902 Beggars And Kings
2819 December Night Comments and analysis of December Night by W.S. Merwin 2 Comments
2815 Vehicles
2760 It Is March
2697 The Burnt Child
2334 Term Comments and analysis of Term by W.S. Merwin 1 Comment
623 The Ships Are Made Ready In Silence
380 Green Fields


Books by W.S. Merwin
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