The Folding Cliffs: A Narrative

Front Cover
Knopf, 1998 - Poetry - 331 pages
8 Reviews
From a major American poet--a thrilling story, in verse, of nineteenth-century Hawaii. The story of an attempt by the government to seize and constrain possible victims of leprosy and the determination of one small family not to be taken. A tale of the perils and glories of their flight into the wilds of the island of Kauai, pursued by a gunboat full of soldiers.
A brilliant capturing--inspired by the poet's respect for the people of these islands--of their life, their history, the gods and goddesses of their mythic past. A somber revelation of the wrecking of their culture through the exploitative incursions of Europeans and Americans. An epic narrative that enthralls with the grandeur of its language and of its vision.

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Review: The Folding Cliffs: A Narrative

User Review  - James Meyer - Goodreads

It's not easy to read a book with no periods, thought if it's about the colonization of Hawaii, and written in blank verse, it's immanently worth reading. Read full review

Review: The Folding Cliffs: A Narrative

User Review  - Kerstin Lampert - Goodreads

A truly thought-provoking story....all I can think of is that poor Hawaiian woman lying on her dead husband's grave for a week.....ancient Hawaiian way or mourning? Wow! Read full review

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About the author (1998)

W. S. Merwin was born in New York City in 1927 and grew up in Union City, New Jersey, and in Scranton, Pennsylvania. From 1949 to 1951 he worked as a tutor in France, Portugal, and Majorca. He has since lived in many parts of the world, most recently on Maui in the Hawaiian Islands. His many books of poems, prose, and translations are listed at the beginning of this volume. He has been the recipient of many awards and prizes, including the Fellowship of the Academy of American Poets (of which he is now a Chancellor), the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, and the Bollingen Prize in Poetry; most recently he has received the Governor's Award for Literature of the state of Hawaii, the Tanning Prize for mastery in the art of poetry, a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award, and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize.

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