Wednesday, February 3, 2010


The poet W.S. Merwin is making an appearance in Seattle this week. Merwin has been writing and publishing poetry for more than 50 years. He is inventive enough, and has been around long enough, that his work has evolved through many different styles representative of several cultural eras - from his ornate mythological poems of the early 1950's, through the austere meditations on the natural world that he writes today. Through his many changes, the beauty of Merwin's poetry owes as much to an undying wonder at the ephemera of the world it does to his formal and rhetorical inventiveness.

Merwin's earliest work was written under the tutelage of John Berryman, and he returns the gift of teaching by sharing the Seattle stage with four younger poets who will read their work and chat with Merwin before an audience. The poets include Erin Belieu, Ben Lerner, Valzhyna Mort, and Matthew Zapruder.

On Thursday February 4th at Town Hall Seattle. Tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for students, available through brown paper tickets.

For The Anniversary Of My Death

Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Tireless traveller
Like the beam of a lightless star

Then I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
And bowing not knowing to what

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