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

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  256 Ratings  ·  14 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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James Aura
Nov 19, 2015 James Aura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A master of simplicity,words and meaning. A book to read a page or two at a time.
May 12, 2016 Bobby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though I don't read poetry much anymore, when I do, it seems to me a bit too clever and oblique. The words don't soar like those by Rumi or Neruda did (and still do), and I find most poets far removed from me as a reader. But these poems--paeans to nature in its various forms and the author's past--are reminiscent of Rumi and Neruda thankfully. Though there is a sense of wistfulness that pervades these poems, by no means are they depressing. Longing for and reminiscing about bygone times is a un ...more
Bryana Johnson
May 13, 2013 Bryana Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
missy jean
Mar 05, 2009 missy jean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
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
Nov 26, 2007 Abraham rated it really liked it  ·  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.
The number of stars represents my enjoyment rather than the skill of Merwin.
I prefer Neruda and Rilke and Olds and Cohen and...

The poems from this volume that I most admire and enjoy:
After School
Before Us
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
May 25, 2014 Kevin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the book that got me into Merwin's poetry. The poems hypnotize me with their rhythm and spaciousness.
Michael rated it really liked it
Dec 17, 2007
Cam  Roberts
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Ron rated it it was ok
Aug 22, 2007
Nikki Fox
Nikki Fox rated it liked it
Jul 28, 2009
Rick Eymer
Rick Eymer rated it it was amazing
Jun 25, 2011
Seth Tomko
Seth Tomko rated it liked it
Oct 25, 2010
Jasper Walsh
Jasper Walsh rated it it was amazing
Aug 26, 2016
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Oct 28, 2008
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Christopher rated it it was amazing
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Nov 12, 2011
Kim Westerman
Kim Westerman rated it it was amazing
Jun 09, 2014
Jul 24, 2015 June rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, 2015-reads
A beautiful collection with a touch of nature splayed in every page I turn.
Mark rated it really liked it
Oct 17, 2012
Dana DesJardins
Dana DesJardins rated it really liked it
Jul 02, 2015
Travis rated it really liked it
Oct 30, 2008
Ardhanarishvara rated it it was amazing
Mar 28, 2012
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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
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On the last day of the world
I would want to plant a tree

what for
not for the fruit

the tree that bears the fruit
is not the one that was planted

I want the tree that stands
in the earth for the first time

with the sun already
going down

and the water
touching its roots

in the earth full of the dead
and the clouds passing

one by one
over its leaves”
More quotes…