W.S. Merwin Poems

W.S. Merwin was an American surrealist poet born in 1927 who passed away in 2019 after a prestigious career.

His first collection of poetry was A Mask for Janus, published in 1952. It was chosen for the Yale Younger Poets Prize. He went on to win the 1970 Pulitzer prize and become the American Poet Laureate from 2010 to 2011. He is remembered for his original use of free verse in his poetry. 


by W.S. Merwin

‘Air’ appears in W.S. Merwin’s 1963 collection of poetry, The Moving Target. This piece is about the personified air, introspecting on its role in nature.


by W.S. Merwin

W.S. Merwin’s ‘Chord’ depicts the life and death of John Keats in parallel to the cutting of Sandalwood trees in Hawaii. It centers on the theme of exploitation vs. inspiration.

Early One Morning

by W.S. Merwin

‘Early One Morning’ by W.S. Merwin is a short poem that showcases what seems to be an older man who is stuck in reminiscing about his younger days.

One of the Lives

by W.S. Merwin

‘One of the Lives’ was published in 1996 in Merwin’s collection The Vixen. The poem is typical of Merwin. He


by W.S. Merwin

‘Separation’ by W. S. Merwin is about what it feels like to be absent from someone you love. The poem uses a clever simile to depict these emotions. 


by W.S. Merwin

In ‘Yesterday,’ Merwin presents the conversation between two individuals regarding their last meeting with their fathers. This interesting conversation centers on the irony of human relationships.

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