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I am so pissed, said god, maybe
from Marianne Boruch's
Book of Hours, The

 I am so pissed, said god, maybe
I’ll invent happiness. It was a blur at first.
But it got bigger. It sort of hovered,
wanting to land, to land—

On what? god said to whatever wasn’t
bright and brought out of nothingness yet.
Oh that nothing at all—so beautiful, it took
god’s breath away. Was it breath?—no,

something else. How long before happiness
turned bluish, restless, trying
to cancel itself out. Should I invent time then?
said god. Maybe the problem is this

summer thing. Maybe trees get sick
of their green and their whispering. Happiness,
said god, welcome! But stand over there,
over there, over there….

highlighted
at the press

“Poetry is a way of looking at the world for the first time.”

—W.S. Merwin (1927-2019)

 

It is with profound sadness that we share this news: W.S. Merwin, former United States poet laureate, Academy of American Poets Chancellor, environmental activist, literary translator, and two-time Pulitzer prize-winning author, passed away in his sleep on March 15, 2019 at his home in the Pe’ahi watershed near Haiku-Pauwela, HI. He was 91.

 

William’s final original collection of poems, Garden Time, was published in 2016, and two retrospective collections, a 50th Anniversary Edition of The Lice, and The Essential W.S. Merwin, were published in 2017. His career as a published poet spanned nearly seven decades.

 

We look back now in gratitude for the countless times W.S. Merwin has inspired us, through poetry, to see the world anew.

 

“For the Anniversary of My Death”

 

Every year without knowing it I have passed the day

When the last fires will wave to me

And the silence will set out

Tireless traveler

Like the beam of a lightless star

 

Then I will no longer

Find myself in life as in a strange garment

Surprised at the earth

And the love of one woman

And the shamelessness of men

As today writing after three days of rain

Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease

And bowing not knowing to what

— W.S. Merwin

 

Leave a personal tribute to W.S. Merwin

Make a memorial gift in support of W.S. Merwin's poetry

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Hands Washing Water

by Chris Abani

Abani makes the kind of poetry I wish I could write. His poems are not the wandering musings about natuer and love, only in part; rather, he writes stories in poetic form, grounded and#

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