Until Everything Is Continuous Again
American Poets on the Recent Work of W. S. Merwin
W. S. Merwin is a defining writer for our age, a poet who, over the course of sixty years and more than forty books, has created a body of work of enormous range, ambition, and complexity. He has served as the United States Poet Laureate and is the recipient of almost every major American award for poetry, including the 2005 National Book Award and two Pulitzer Prizes, first in 1971 and again in 2009. In this volume, for the first time, fifteen poets and critics gather to discuss the last quarter century of his work, beginning with The Rain in the Trees, a collection of poems that marks a turning point in Merwin's career. At times personal and at times scholarly, these essays place the poet's recent work in the context of a lifetime of writing, and help us to understand how this seminal literary figure fits into the ongoing conversation of American poetry.
Table of Contents
The Names of the Trees Where I Was Born: From Placelessness to Place in the Poetry of W. S. Merwin
To Merwin: The Ode as Tautology in Present Company
Origin, Presence, and Time in the Work of W. S. Merwin
A Forgotten Language
A Time of Memories Incorrect but Powerful: Reading The Rain in the Trees
Merwin's Evolving Protocols: On the Occasion of "The Day Itself"
The Act Finds Utterance: W. S. Merwin's "Substance"
Most of the Stories Have to Do with Vanishing
To Shine after It Has Gone: Resonance in W. S. Merwin's The Vixen
Prolegomena to Any Future Reading of The Folding Cliffs
Raw Shore of Paradise: A Conversation with W. S. Merwin
The Shadow of Sirius: A Critical Conversation
All of Memory Waking: Word and Experience in W. S. Merwin's The Shadow of Sirius
The Form of Absence