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Migration: New and Selected Poems
W. S. Merwin
$24.00 paperback
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Migration: New and Selected Poems  (paperback)
W. S. Merwin

A powerful case can be made for declaring United States Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin the most influential American poet of the last half-century—an artist who has transfigured and reinvigorated the vision of poetry for our time. Migration: New and Selected Poems is that case—a distillation of the best poems from a profound body of work, and including a selection of new poems.
As an undergraduate at Princeton, W.S. Merwin was advised by John Berryman to "get down on your knees and pray to the muse every day." Over the last fifty years, Merwin's poetry moved beyond the traditional verse of his early years to revolutionary open forms that engage a vast array of influences and possibilities. As Adrienne Rich wrote of W.S. Merwin's work: "I would be shamelessly jealous of this poetry, if I didn't take so much from it into my own life."
Migration: New and Selected Poems is the definitive Merwin volume.

(also available in hardbound)
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2005 National Book Award in Poetry

Ambassador Book Award

The New York Times "100 Notable Books of the Year" list

Selected by the The New York Times Book Review as an “Editor’s Choice”


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For Migration: New and Selected Poems, W. S. Merwin

"The poems in Migration speak from a life-long belief in the power of words to awaken our drowsy souls and see the world with compassionate interconnection. In moments of self-awakening that might be roused by ambulance sirens from St. Vincent’s Hospital, or the rustle of weasel in the wall of a French farmhouse, these poems offer us a place in the world where the ordinary becomes extraordinary, where 'the pain of learning what is lost / is transformed into light at last.'"—Citation from the National Book Award judges
"The publication of W. S. Merwin's selected and new poems is one of those landmark events in the literary world... Merwin is one of the great poets of our age."—Los Angeles Times Book Review

"[I]t's hard to believe this rich selection represents the work of just one man."—Publishers Weekly

"[Migration] shows W.S. Merwin to be an artist who has never ceased to challenge himself and his readership."—Library Journal

"[In] any landscape, Merwin stands tall."—Philadelphia Inquirer

"Merwin has migrated within the universe of poetry, too, moving from solidly constructed, tactile, and dramatic works to airy, abstract, unpunctuated, and contemplative poems, a journey beautifully mapped here in selections from 15 previous collections, capped by a gathering of new poems. Complex, spiritual, and evocative, Merwin is a major poet, and this is a sublime measure of his achievements."—Booklist

"In prose and poetry alike, Merwin’s impulse is to recognize the sacred moment, to record that awakening of attention, with precision. It is an ability that has inspired each departure he’s made toward a new creative endeavor, with an equally rewarding return for his readers: the gift of his books."—Poets & Writers

"Migration: New and Selected Poems gathers Merwin’s personal harvest of his fifty-year oeuvre into one magisterial volume."—The Wichita Eagle

"Many of us have followed W.S. Merwin’s work book by book, collection by collection. It is a joy to celebrate the publication of Migration, his new and selected poems, that brings together work from fifteen previous collections... He has consistently turned to archaic and medieval sources, to tribal literatures, for renewal, and yet his work is completely written, inscripted. It mines the resources of the modernists. Poetry, for him, has something to do with the completeness of life. It comes out of a deep inner need for articulation. It is a fragment that seeks to complete experience, to make it whole, and there is a mythic element to everything he writes. I would say that he is like an ancient bard, a scop, a shaman, who has been updated for our era. He has created a body of wisdom literature that is unprecedented in our age. I feel lucky to be alive at a time when W.S. Merwin has been creating his startling and incomparable work."—Edward Hirsch, introducing “A Tribute to W.S. Merwin”

"The trajectory of Merwin’s work is meteoric: its greatest flashes of beauty and insight are the product of traditional poetic impulses breaking up under the pressures of our atmosphere... he has written some of the most powerful poems in the language against our species’ murderous sense of self-importance."—Jacket

"W. S. Merwin's legacy is unquestionably secure: his best and most fierce poems are moody, visionary compositions that dive into the unconscious and the seeds of existence with an inwardness and scrutiny unique in American poetry."—Poetry

"From pondering the tone of falling to wondering how to speak to the gestures of time, or the consolations of philosophy—why we need to account for light but not for the dark—[Merwin] apprehends the mortal undertaking of it all."—Neon

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