The Animals

By W. S. Merwin b. 1927
All these years behind windows
With blind crosses sweeping the tables

And myself tracking over empty ground   
Animals I never saw

I with no voice

Remembering names to invent for them   
Will any come back will one

Saying yes

Saying look carefully yes   
We will meet again

W. S. Merwin, “The Animals” from The Second Four Books of Poems (Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 1993). Copyright © 1993 by W. S. Merwin. Reprinted with the permission of The Wylie Agency, Inc.

Source: The Second Four Books of Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 1993)

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Poet W. S. Merwin b. 1927

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Pets, Relationships

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 W. S. Merwin

Biography

W.S. Merwin is a prolific, leading American writer whose poetry, translations, and prose have won praise over seven decades. His first book, A Mask for Janus (1952),  was chosen by W.H. Auden for the Yale Younger Poets Prize. Though that first book reflected the formalism of the period, Merwin eventually became known for an impersonal, open style that eschewed punctuation. Writing in the Guardian, Jay Parini described Merwin’s . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Pets, Relationships

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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