The Folding Cliffs: A Narrative

Front Cover
Knopf, 1998 - Poetry - 331 pages
2 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.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Brasidas - LibraryThing

THE FOLDING CLIFFS is an epic story of Hawaii composed in ten-to-fourteen syllable, mostly punctuation-free, enjamned lines. The central narrative seems as unlikely as it is compelling. It is the late ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Mr.Durick - LibraryThing

I am willing to accept that this is verse, tentatively. If ever I cross paths with Mr. Merwin, I will ask him why we can claim it to be verse. That said, though I couldn't identify a meter, there is a ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

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.

Bibliographic information