William Stanley Merwin

(September 30, 1927 / New York / United States)

William Stanley Merwin
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William Stanley Merwin (born 30 September 1927 ) is an American poet. He made a name for himself as an anti-war poet during the 1960s. Later, he would evolve toward mythological themes and develop a unique prosody characterized by indirect narration and the absence of punctuation. In the 80s and 90s, Merwin's interest in Buddhist philosophy and deep ecology also influenced his writing. He continues to write prolifically, though he also dedicates significant time to the restoration of rainforests in Hawaii, where he currently resides.

Merwin has received many honors, including the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (in both 1971 and 2009) and the Tanning Prize, one of the highest honors ... more »

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  • Rookie Kate B (6/9/2007 3:41:00 AM)

    Where is Separation? ? ! ! !

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Best Poem of William Stanley Merwin

For A Coming Extinction

Gray whale
Now that we are sinding you to The End
That great god
Tell him
That we who follow you invented forgiveness
And forgive nothing

I write as though you could understand
And I could say it
One must always pretend something
Among the dying
When you have left the seas nodding on their stalks
Empty of you
Tell him that we were made
On another day

The bewilderment will diminish like an echo
Winding along your inner mountains
Unheard by us
And find its way out
Leaving behind it the future
Dead
And ours

When you will ...

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