The Rain in the Trees: Poems

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Knopf, 1988 - Poetry - 78 pages
14 Reviews
A literary event -- a new volume of poems by one of the masters of modern poetry -- The Rain in the Trees is W. S. Merwin's first book since the publication five years ago of his Opening the Hand. Almost no other poet of our time has been able to voice in so subtle a fashion such a profound series of comments on the passing of history over the contemporary scene. To do this, he seems to have reinvented the poem -- so that the experience of reading Merwin is unlike the reading of any other poetry. In such famous books as The Lice, The Moving Target and (most recently) Opening the Hand, he has produced a body of work of great profundity and power made from the simplest and most beautiful poetic speech. The poems in this new book are concerned with intimacy and wholeness, and are made of the relations with people, with places, past and present, and with history and how the world endures it. Merwin can now rightfully be called a master, and this book shows in every way why this is the case.

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Review: Rain in the Trees

User Review  - Kevin - Goodreads

This is the book that got me into Merwin's poetry. The poems hypnotize me with their rhythm and spaciousness. Read full review

Review: Rain in the Trees

User Review  - Goodreads

This is the book that got me into Merwin's poetry. The poems hypnotize me with their rhythm and spaciousness. Read full review



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About the author (1988)

Poet W. S. Merwin (William Stanley Merwin) was born on September 30, 1927 in New York City. He attended Princeton University. He has authored over fifteen books of poetry and some of those titles include "The River Sound" (Alfred A. Knopf, 1999), which was named a New York Times notable book of the year; "The Vixen" (1996), which won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; "The Carrier of Ladders" (1970), which won the Pulitzer Prize; and "A Mask for Janus" (1952), which was selected by W. H. Auden for the Yale Series of Younger Poets. Merwin won a second Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for The Shadow of Sirius (published in 2008). He has also published books of translation, which include Dante's Purgatorio, numerous plays and books of prose. Some of Merwin's honors include the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry, the Bollingen Prize, the Governor's Award for Literature of the State of Hawaii, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the PEN Translation Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, the first Tanning Prize and a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award. He also received fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation and a Ford Foundation Grant. He is a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets and received a five-year term as judge of the Yale Series of Younger Poets.

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