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Rain In The Trees, The
W.S. Merwin
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Rain In The Trees, The

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  211 ratings  ·  10 reviews
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

Hardcover, 78 pages
Published March 12th 1988 by Knopf (first published 1987)
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Bryana Johnson
I have to give this book five stars, even though I suspect if Merwin and I were to sit down over coffee, we would find little to agree on. There were portions of this book where the divide between our presuppositions was made very evident, but overall the poetry in this volume is about the human experience, which is more or less universal. In an era when universals and traditional imagery are frowned upon by many leading figures in the academic community, Merwin’s focus on nature and wide themes ...more
This is the book that got me into Merwin's poetry. The poems hypnotize me with their rhythm and spaciousness.
A beautiful collection with a touch of nature splayed in every page I turn.
missy jean
Perhaps it’s because I am writing this review with my windows open, and I can feel spring creeping up on me. Perhaps it’s because every time I turn on the news, there’s another story about corporate gluttony and corruption that makes my stomach turn. But I want to keep reading these poems, over and over. The Rain in the Trees was a perfectly-timed read for me: a story about nature and the wild, and about the human tendency to dominate anything that seems foreign or pure, and about what we are sa ...more
Dec 16, 2007 Abraham rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: merwin lovers
Shelves: poetry
Half of the time I feel like Merwin's lack of punctuation is a liberation of the page and half the time it seems to be so limiting - like trying to frame a house with only one tool (a Skillsaw maybe?)I guess it's a kind of hidden formalism which sets inherent rules for how the writer can control the pace of reading.

Otherwise, this book has some long moments of Merwin-esque brilliance and runs a little too declarative at other times. Still a good read, though you should read The Lice first.
I feel very guilty for not loving this collection. Everyone tells me I should. Merwin is a recent poet laureate, and you can't find a negative word about his poetry anywhere. I feel compelled to say, "I guess it's my fault." Whether this is true or not depends upon your idiosyncratic taste. These poems, with their breathlessness, are simply too abstract for me.
Sarah Byrd
Oct 29, 2009 Sarah Byrd added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
my favorite of all favorite poets and books; the ideal moment between sunset and evening, sunrise and morning, and the moments in our lives dripping with nature
If you really get into poetry, as I do, this is a nice read on a summer day.
Another lifetime read...
Some great, late Merwin.
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William Stanley Merwin (New York City, September 30, 1927) is an American poet, credited with over 30 books of poetry, translation and prose. During the 1960s anti-war movement, Merwin's unique craft was thematically characterized by indirect, unpunctuated narration. In the 1980s and 1990s, Merwin's writing influence derived from his interest in Buddhist philosophy and deep ecology. Residing in Ha ...more
More about W.S. Merwin...
The Shadow of Sirius Migration: New and Selected Poems The Second Four Books of Poems The Lice The First Four Books of Poems

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