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Migration: New and Selected Poems

4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  512 Ratings  ·  26 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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Mar 30, 2008 Michael rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, 2000s
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.
Feb 11, 2009 Cynthia rated it it was amazing
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.
Nov 05, 2010 Nora rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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.
May 09, 2007 peter rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 17, 2009 Norman rated it it was amazing
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...
Mar 09, 2009 Dana rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 01, 2007 Pat rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 23, 2012 Vicki rated it it was amazing
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!
Aug 18, 2007 Cristina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
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.
Erin Byers
May 31, 2011 Erin Byers rated it it was amazing
He has always been one of my favorites.
Mar 11, 2012 Patricia rated it it was amazing
Poems that stand up to reading over and over at all different ages.
Dawn Tripp
Mar 19, 2012 Dawn Tripp rated it it was amazing
Love this collection.
Melissa Jackson
Mar 01, 2010 Melissa Jackson rated it it was amazing
Merwin is in a category all his own. His poetry is undeniably epic.
Jul 29, 2010 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
Jan 08, 2011 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.
Apr 04, 2013 Julie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: prizewinners
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.
Apr 01, 2013 James rated it it was amazing
I love this collection. Sure, not every poem will resonate with every reader every time, but I've found something in Merwin's work more often than in any other body of work. Merwin just keeps giving.
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.
Len Edgerly
May 14, 2013 Len Edgerly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
W.S. Merwin is my favorite poet, and this is one of my favorite books of his.
Mills College Library
811.54 M576mi 2005
May 11, 2012 Tim rated it it was amazing
I'm not much a fan of poetry but the work of W.S. Merwin is an amazing experience to read.
Alex Andtheuniverse
Jan 02, 2017 Alex Andtheuniverse rated it it was amazing
A great read for the mind and soul.
Feb 27, 2016 David rated it it was amazing
Merwin's poems to me are like koans. They are not so much to be understood as to be objects of reflection and contemplation, less to wonder about what the poet was trying to say and more about the thoughts and feelings they bring up in the reader at the time and place they are read. In this sense, they can be different, new, and fresh every time you read them.
May 21, 2016 LOL_BOOKS added it
Shelves: poetry

Jill Johnson
Jill Johnson rated it it was amazing
Jan 03, 2009
Stefanie rated it really liked it
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Dec 31, 2010
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Sep 07, 2009
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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...

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