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The River Sound

The River Sound

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Add This - The River Sound

Written by W.S. MerwinAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by W.S. Merwin

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 144 pages
  •  
  • Publisher: Knopf
  • On Sale: August 15, 2000
  • Price: $16.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-375-70435-2 (0-375-70435-3)
about this book

A strikingly beautiful book of poems from one of our finest poets, exhibiting his artistry in the style he has made his own. Peter Davison has written of Merwin that "he conveys in the sweet simplicity of grounded language a sense of the self where it belongs, floating between heaven, earth, and underground."  To his lyrics Merwin adds three long narrative poems: "Lament for the Makers" is his tribute to fellow poets who are gone and who had his admiration, from Dylan Thomas to James Merrill; "Testimony" is a tour de force, an autobiographical poem in the manner of Francois Villon; "Suite in the Key of Forgetting" is a remarkable poem about memory and memories.

Excerpt

WAVES IN AUGUST

There is a war in the distance
with the distance growing smaller
the field glasses lying at hand
are for keeping it far away

I thought I was getting better
about that returning childish
wish to be living somewhere else
that I knew was impossible
and now I find myself wishing
to be here to be alive here
it is impossible enough
to still be the wish of a child

in youth I hid a boat under
the bushes beside the water
knowing I would want it later
and come back and would find it there
someone else took it and left me
instead the sound of the water
with its whisper of vertigo

terror reassurance an old
old sadness it would seem we knew
enough always about parting
but we have to go on learning
as long as there is anything

Copyright© 1999 by W. S. Merwin