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
Maybe

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

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Life Choices, God & the Divine, Social Commentaries

 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 Life Choices, God & the Divine, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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