To the New Year

By W. S. Merwin b. 1927
With what stillness at last
you appear in the valley
your first sunlight reaching down
to touch the tips of a few
high leaves that do not stir
as though they had not noticed
and did not know you at all
then the voice of a dove calls
from far away in itself
to the hush of the morning

so this is the sound of you
here and now whether or not
anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible

W. S. Merwin, “To the New Year” from Present Company (Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by W. S. Merwin. Reprinted with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, www.coppercanyonpress.org.


Source: Present Company (Zoo Press, 2005)

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Poet W. S. Merwin b. 1927

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Nature, Social Commentaries, History & Politics

Holidays New Year

 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 Nature, Social Commentaries, History & Politics

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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