Flower & Hand

W.S. Merwin

A volume bringing back into print three volumes by one of the most celebrated poets in American letters. Following The Second Four Books, this collection returns to print a large body of work by one of the premier poets of this century. United States Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin was the first recipient of the Tanning Prize, awarded to “a master poet.” James Merrill commented that indeed, “here before us, and for many years to come, we have in William Merwin an embodied emblem of the best we can hope for, both as artist and citizen of the world.”

ISBN: 9781556591198

Format: Paperback

About the Author

W.S. Merwin was born in New York City in 1927 and was United States Poet Laureate in 2010. He graduated from Princeton University in 1948, where he studied with John Berryman and R.P. Blackmur. From 1949 to 1951 he worked as a tutor in France, Mallorca, and Portugal; for several years afterward he made the greater part of his living by translating from French, Spanish, Latin, and Portuguese. His first book of poetry, A Mask for Janus (1952) was selected …

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“To uncork vintage Merwin is to find poetry that has lost none of its elegance.” —Publishers Weekly

“The release of Flower & Hand is cause for celebration. It is a wonderful sequel to The Second Four Books of Poems, returning to print more work by one of our finest and most unique voices.” —Harvard Review

“These quiet, unpunctuated poems often feel like translations, not so much from another language as from another condition… One of our most important poets… [Copper Canyon Press] collects here the poetry of supremely accomplished poet, memoirist, and translator Merwin… These poems of what probably ought to be understood as the poet’s middle period show the reactions of an outstanding creative mind to the recurrent concerns of poetry—death, travel, love and change. Their music lies not so much in the sounds of words as in the images themselves.” —Library Journal

Flower & Hand is an impressive collection of diverse poems that show Merwin’s skill in finding the telling image and constructing forceful and meaningful poetic structures. The book reveals the strength of Merwin’s poetic skills in the middle of his career.” —Magill Book Reviews

“The three books [reprinted in Flower & Hand] suggest a chronological development, jewellike bits of observation, a powerful imagination, and the loose and uncontrived meter and language that Merwin has by now perfected.” —Poetry Calendar

“W.S. Merwin is our preeminent poet of belonging, concerned above all with the boundless beauty of nature and our uneasy place in it… Merwin writes with a quiet, incantatory power that casts an unmistakable spell of authority. More than any other contemporary poet, he exudes a bedrock confidence in existence. In [Flower & Hand] we find Merwin moving ever closer toward his forte: a fluid, ambiguous verse, unbroken by marks of punctuation, and mirroring the very movements of the mind as it scans the horizon in search of beckoning signs of welcome.” —Wichita Eagle