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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
16699 Yesterday Comments and analysis of Yesterday by W.S. Merwin 249 Comments
8082 For The Anniversary Of My Death Comments and analysis of For The Anniversary Of My Death by W.S. Merwin 2 Comments
7777 Air Comments and analysis of Air by W.S. Merwin 211 Comments
5824 When You Go Away
5638 For A Coming Extinction
5016 The Speed Of Light Comments and analysis of The Speed Of Light by W.S. Merwin 2 Comments
4730 My Friends Comments and analysis of My Friends by W.S. Merwin 1 Comment
4122 Some Last Questions Comments and analysis of Some Last Questions by W.S. Merwin 2 Comments
4082 The River Of Bees
3886 Unknown Bird
3754 Any Time Comments and analysis of Any Time by W.S. Merwin 3 Comments
3695 Wish Comments and analysis of Wish by W.S. Merwin 1 Comment
3463 Before The Flood Comments and analysis of Before The Flood by W.S. Merwin 20 Comments
3043 The Source
2870 Whenever I Go There
2867 Beggars And Kings
2803 December Night Comments and analysis of December Night by W.S. Merwin 2 Comments
2795 Vehicles
2739 It Is March
2678 The Burnt Child
2317 Term Comments and analysis of Term by W.S. Merwin 1 Comment
588 The Ships Are Made Ready In Silence
367 Green Fields


Books by W.S. Merwin
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