I Live Up Here

By W. S. Merwin b. 1927
I live up here
And a little bit to the left
And I go down only
For the accidents and then
Never a moment too soon
Just the same it's a life it's plenty
The stairs the petals she loves me
Every time
Nothing has changed
Oh down there down there
Every time
The glass knights lie by their gloves of blood
In the pans of the scales the helmets
Brim over with water
It's perfectly fair
The pavements are dealt out the dice
Every moment arrive somewhere
You can hear the hearses getting lost in lungs
Their bells stalling
And then silence comes with the plate and I
Give what I can
Feeling It's worth it
For I see
What my votes the mice are accomplishing
And I know I'm free
This is how I live
Up here and simply
Others do otherwise

W. S. Merwin, "I Live Up Here" Copyright © 1993 by W.S. Merwin, reprinted with permission of The Wylie Agency LLC.

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

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Poet W. S. Merwin b. 1927


Subjects Life Choices, God & the Divine, Social Commentaries

 W. S. Merwin


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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SUBJECT Life Choices, God & the Divine, Social Commentaries


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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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