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Rain in the Trees

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Paperback published by Knopf (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
A literary event -- a new volume of poems by one of the masters of modern poetry -- The Rain in the Trees is W. S. Merwin's first book since the publication five years ago of his Opening the Hand.

Almost no other poet of our time has been able to voice in so subtle a fashion such a profound series of comments on the passing of history over the contemporary scene. To do this, he seems to have reinvented the poem -- so that the experience of reading Merwin is unlike the reading of any other poetry. In such famous books as The Lice, The Moving Target and (most recently) Opening the Hand, he has produced a body of work of great profundity and power made from the simplest and most beautiful poetic speech.

The poems in this new book are concerned with intimacy and wholeness, and are made of the relations with people, with places, past and present, and with history and how the world endures it.

Merwin can now rightfully be called a master, and this book shows in every way why this is the case.
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A literary event -- a new volume of poems by one of the masters of modern poetry -- The Rain in the Trees is W. S. Merwin's first book since the publication five years ago of his Opening the Hand.

Almost no other poet of our time has been able to voice in so subtle a fashion such a profound series of comments on the passing of history over the contemporary scene. To do this, he seems to have reinvented the poem -- so that the experience of reading Merwin is unlike the reading of any other poetry. In such famous books as The Lice, The Moving Target and (most recently) Opening the Hand, he has produced a body of work of great profundity and power made from the simplest and most beautiful poetic speech.

The poems in this new book are concerned with intimacy and wholeness, and are made of the relations with people, with places, past and present, and with history and how the world endures it.

Merwin can now rightfully be called a master, and this book shows in every way why this is the case.
Product Details
Paperback (96 pages)
Published: March 12, 1988
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Knopf
ISBN: 9780394758589
Other books byW.S. Merwin
  • Migration

    Migration
    New & Selected Poems
    Named one of the 100 Notable Books of the Year by The New York Times. Winner of the National Book Award for Poetry “The poems in Migration speak a life-long belief in the power of words to awaken our drowsy souls and see the world with compassionate interconnection.”—National Book Award judges’ statement “The publication of W. S. Merwin’s selected and new poems is one of those landmark events in the literary world.”—Los Angeles Times W. S. Merwin is the most influential American poet of the last half-century—an artist who has transfigured and reinvigorated the vision of poetry for our time. Migration: New and Selected Poems is that case. This 540-page distillation—selected by Merwin from fifteen diverse volumes—is a gathering of the best poems from a profound body of work, accented by a selection of distinctive new poems. As an undergraduate at Princeton University, Merwin was advised by John Berryman to “get down on your knees and pray to the muse every day.” Migration represents the bounty of those prayers. Over the last fifty years, Merwin’s muse has led him beyond the formal verse of his early years to revolutionary open forms that engage a vast array of influences and possibilities. As Adrienne Rich wrote of Merwin’s work: “I would be shamelessly jealous of this poetry, if I didn’t take so much from it into my own life.” W. S. Merwin is the author of over fifty books of poetry, prose, and translation. He lives in Hawaii, where he raises endangered palm trees.

    Present Company

    Present Company
    “One of America’s greatest living poets.”—The Washington Post Book World “Merwin keeps his language simple but his perceptions complex. Classical in their lines of inquiry and restraint yet vital in their attunement to the here and now, these personal odes and musings on daily existence and the cycles of life are, by turns, bemused and exalted . . . each poem infuses the collection with buoyancy and light.”—Booklist Now in paperback, W.S. Merwin’s latest masterwork—which reviewers have described as “meditative,” “playful,” and “lithely beautiful”—guides readers to universal themes through worldly specifics. Akin to Pablo Neruda’s Elemental Odes, every poem in Present Company directly addresses the people and things of daily life, as in “To the Thief at the Airport” or “To Lingering Regrets.” “To This May” They know so much more now about the heart we are told but the world still seems to come one at a time one day one year one season and here it is spring once more with its birds nesting in the holes in the walls its morning finding the first time its light pretending not to move always beginning as it goes

    The River Sound

    The River Sound
    Poems
    A strikingly beautiful book of poems from one of our finest poets, exhibiting his artistry in the style he has made his own. To his lyrics Merwin adds three long narrative poems: "Lament for the Makers" is his tribute to fellow poets who are gone and who had his admiration, from Dylan Thomas to James Merrill; "Testimony" is a tour de force, an autobiographical poem in the manner of Francois Villon; "Suite in the Key of Forgetting" is a remarkable poem about memory and memories. All in all, a masterly work by a major poet.

    The Pupil

    The Pupil
    Poems
    Hailed by Peter Davison in the Boston Sunday Globe as a poet who “engages the underground stream of our lives at depths that only two or three living poets can match,” W. S. Merwin now gives us The Pupil, a volume of astonishing range and extraordinary beauty: a major literary event. These are poems of great lyrical intensity, concerned with darkness and light, with the seasons, and with the passing of time across landscapes that are both vast and minutely imagined. They capture the spiritual anguish of our time; the bittersweet joys of vanishing wilderness; anger at our political wrong- doings; the sensuality that memory can engender. Here are remembrances of the poet’s youth, lyrics on the loss of loved ones, echoes from the surfaces of the natural world. Here, too, is the poet’s sense of a larger mystery: . . . we know from the beginning that the darkness is beyond us there is no explaining the dark it is only the light that we keep feeling a need to account for —from “The Marfa Lights” Passionate, rigorous, and quietly profound, The Pupil is an essential addition to the canon of contemporary American poetry—a book that finds W. S. Merwin’s singularly resonant voice at the height of its power. From the Hardcover edition.

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