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Migration: New and Selected Poems
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Migration: New and Selected Poems

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  388 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Winner of the National Book AwardA New York Times "100 Notable Books of the Year"
A powerful case can be made for declaring W.S. Merwin the most influential American poet of the last half-century. Migration: New & Selected Poems is that case.

As an undergraduate at Princeton, Merwin was advised by John Berryman to “get down on your knees and pray to the muse every day.”
Hardcover, 534 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Copper Canyon Press
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Aug 27, 2009 Cynthia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Funny to put "read" on this, as though I read it and it's back on a shelf... when it's really a touchstone book that I'm sure I'll read forever and ever. The poems are wonderful, layered, accessible and emotional. I love this book.
If I were stuck on a desert island and could only take one book, this would be the one. Merwin is my favorite poet, and this is a very good collection of work from throughout his entire career.
Jan 20, 2012 Robert is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Got from Aliza for my holiday present. Merwin is currently US Poet Laureate. He is good; his poems are very metaphorical (and beautiful). They take a lot of work. I will never finish this book. p.64. have to read many of the poems twice--his poetry is complicated--sometimes I have no idea what he is writing about until the second reading (or third or fourth)

20 Jan, I am putting this book down for a year or so.
This book is pure, hypnotic luminous love. I read some of these to Diane in the last few days as she was transitioning on into the next realm. If poetry is appropriate for that journey, it's truly the work of the soul. Merwin, you did fantastic.
Poetry is something of a new venture for me. It takes patience and quiet. The book is full a good. I can't say I've read every single page and I don't know when you "finish" a book of poetry. But I'm going to give it a 4.
I think Merwin's poetry is some of the most beautiful writing around, and this collection does a great job summing it up. I tend to think his best work started in the late 60's...
Another of my top 5 favorite poets. His writings integrate Buddhism and the life of the mind, and sorrow for the dying planet, and the complexities of love...truly wonderful!
I had to read this for school as well, and then Merwin came to residency to read from it and his new collection. Simply amazing! I will say that I prefer his later works.
Good selection spanning Merwin's career from his earlier cut-short pieces to his more recent, sprawling poetry. Dude knows his stuff. MY favorite poet, at any rate.
He is really great. Or, perhaps more accurately, his writing is really great. So, by extension, I imagine he must be really great. He is really great.
Melissa Jackson
Merwin is in a category all his own. His poetry is undeniably epic.
Poems that stand up to reading over and over at all different ages.
Erin Byers
He has always been one of my favorites.
Dawn Tripp
Love this collection.
Katherine Collins
How can you not be intrigued by a poet who is famous for a work called The Lice? With lines like “My friends without shields walk on the target” and “I remember the rain with its bundle of roads”, I am inclined to read on and on.
Jul 20, 2011 g added it
I didn't get all the way through this one: I bit off more than I could chew with this 534-page retrospective. Some of the early stuff was gorgeous and mind-blowing, but I found myself liking it less as we crept towards the present day--more abstract, less accessible, and it just took more glasses of wine than I cared to drink on a weeknight to feel moved by the material. And since I've had it on my "currently reading" shelf for an entire year... So long, Merwin. I reserve the right to revisit th ...more
Every April, inspired by National Poetry Month, my book group focuses one meeting on poetry. We read selections from this collection as well as some of Merwin's earliest and most recent work, but I kept finding my way back to this National Book Award winner. It has so much to offer-even for a pagan like me who only reads poetry one month a year.
I'm not much a fan of poetry but the work of W.S. Merwin is an amazing experience to read.
Len Edgerly
W.S. Merwin is my favorite poet, and this is one of my favorite books of his.
Jun 11, 2007 Andy added it
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: poetry



Mills College Library
811.54 M576mi 2005
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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 The Second Four Books of Poems Rain in the Trees The Lice The First Four Books of Poems

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