William's Reviews > Selected Translations: 1948-1968

Selected Translations by W.S. Merwin
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Mar 24, 11

bookshelves: 20-ce, translation, poetry, signed
read count: 3

The book that got me hooked on Merwin. The best selection of poems from a variety of cultures that I have read, and a great preparation for the reading of Merwin's own poetry. I do not think I could name a unifying theme, but I will go so far as to say that the translated poems here are held together as a collection by all aspects of human suffering or the human condition: grief, loss, despair, love, happiness, etc. It seems to be Merwin's aim to show us how very much alike we all are. The poems span a 4,500 year period ending in 1968. That the book was published at the height of the Vietnam War, which Merwin staunchly opposed, is significant.
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