Thursday, July 1, 2010

Big poetry news

Today W.S. Merwin has been named the new U.S. Poet Laureate and the 17th overall poet to hold the position. His first collection was published in 1952 and since then he has translated, written over 30 collections of poems and become an advocate for the wilds of Hawaii, his adopted home. A nice article on the news is here and more biographical info along with some of his work and reading is here.

Although this little prose poem is not a great representation of his usual style I love it for its simple beauty.


Certain words now in our knowledge we will not use again, and we will never forget them. We need them. Like the back of the picture. Like our marrow, and the color in our veins. We shine the lantern of our sleep on them, to make sure, and there they are, trembling already for the day of witness. They will be buried with us, and rise with the rest.

The picture at top is obviously older since Merwin is now 82 years old. But what a great, rugged, photo.

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