William Stanley Merwin (born September 30, 1927 in New York City) is one of the most influential American poets of the later 20th century. Events 1399 - Henry IV is proclaimed King of England. 1744 - France and Spain defeat the Year 1927 ( MCMXXVII) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The City of New York
Merwin made a name for himself as an anti-war poet during the 1960's. Later, he would evolve toward mythological themes and develop a unique prosody characterized by indirect narration and the absence of punctuation. In the 80's and 90's, Merwin's interest in Buddhist philosophy and deep ecology also influenced his writing. Buddhism is a family of beliefs and practices Deep ecology is a recent branch of ecological Philosophy ( Ecosophy) that considers Humankind an integral part of its environment. He continues to write prolifically, though he also dedicates significant time to the restoration of rainforests in Hawaii, the state where he lives.
Merwin has received many honors, including a Pulitzer Prize and a Tanning Prize, one of the highest honors bestowed by the Academy of American Poets. The Pulitzer Prize, ˈpʊlɨtsɚ PULL-it-sər is an American award regarded as the highest national honor in Newspaper journalism, The Academy of American Poets is the preeminent organization in the United States dedicated to the art of Poetry.
Merwin grew up in Union City, New Jersey and Scranton, Pennsylvania. For sites of same name see Union City. Union City is a city in Hudson County, New Jersey, United States He graduated from Princeton University in 1948. Princeton University is a private Coeducational research university located in Princeton, New Jersey. His father was a Presbyterian minister. 'I started writing hymns for my father as soon as I could write at all', Merwin has said. While at Princeton, he studied writing with John Berryman and R. P. Blackmur, to whom his fifth book, The Moving Target (1963), was later dedicated. John Allyn Berryman (originally John Allyn Smith) ( October 25, 1914 – January 7, 1972) was an American Richard Palmer Blackmur ( January 21, 1904 – February 2, 1965) was an American Literary critic and Poet. Merwin spent a postgraduate year at Princeton studying Romance languages, an interest that would lead, eventually, to his much-admired work as a translator of Latin, Spanish, and French poetry.
Merwin travelled in France, Spain, and England. He settled in Majorca in 1950 as a tutor to Robert Graves's son. Robert Graves (24 July 1895 &ndash 7 December 1985 was an English Poet, Translator and Novelist. Graves, with his interest in mythology, would become a primary influence on young Merwin. Moving to London in 1951, Merwin made his living as a translator for several years. In America, his first book of poems won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award for 1952, selected by W. H. Auden, who remarked in his introduction on the young poet's technical virtuosity. Wystan Hugh Auden (21 February 1907 – 29 September 1973 ˈwɪstən ˈhjuː ˈɔːdən who signed his works W That volume, A Mask for Janus, is immensely formal, neoclassical in style. For the next decade Merwin would regularly publish collections of intensely wrought, brightly imagistic poems that recalled the poetry of Wallace Stevens as well as Robert Graves and other influences. Wallace Stevens ( October 2, 1879 – August 2, 1955) was a major American Modernist Poet. After his graduation from Princeton, Merwin has never been associated with a writing program or university. He has lived all over the world, and he now lives in Haiku, Hawaii. Haiku is an unincorporated town in Maui County on the island of Maui in the state of Hawaii. The State of Hawaii ( or həˈwaɪʔiː Hawaiian: Mokuāina o Hawaii) is a state in the United States located on an Archipelago in the
At a Union City (NJ) council meeting in early March 2006, historian Kathie Pontus formally requested that the city of Union City honor Merwin, who was scheduled to be in New Jersey to accept the National Book Award for his latest poetry collection (ISBN 1-55659-218-3) called Migration. Pontus asked the board that a street naming be held on April 22, 2006 for Merwin, who when contacted for the event, stated that he was "nostalgic about Union City, and moved that it remembered him, and would love to return home to receive this honor. Events 1500 - Portuguese Navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral becomes the first European to sight Brazil. Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. "
In 1952 Merwin's first book of poetry, A Mask for Janus, was published in the Yale Younger Poets Series. Year 1952 ( MCMLII) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition is an annual event of Yale University Press aiming to publish the first collection of a promising American Poet W. H. Auden selected the work for that distinction. Wystan Hugh Auden (21 February 1907 – 29 September 1973 ˈwɪstən ˈhjuː ˈɔːdən who signed his works W Later, in 1971 Auden and Merwin would exchange harsh words in the pages of The New York Review of Books. Year 1971 ( MCMLXXI) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the 1971 Gregorian calendar. Merwin had published a feature, On Being Awarded the Pulitzer Prize in the June 3, 1971 issue of The New York Review of Books that announced his objection to the Vietnam War and that he was donating his prize money. Auden responded in a letter entitled Saying No that appeared in the July 1, 1971 issue stating that the Pulitzer Prize jury was not a political body with any ties to the American foreign policy.
From 1956 to 1957 Merwin was also playwright-in-residence at the Poet's Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts; he became poetry editor at The Nation in 1962. Year 1956 ( MCMLVI) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Year 1957 ( MCMLVII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1957 Gregorian calendar) Cambridge Massachusetts is a City in the Greater Boston area of Massachusetts, United States. This article is about the US Publication. For other newspapers magazines and alternate uses by the same name see The Nation (disambiguation. Year 1962 ( MCMLXII) was a Common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Besides being a prolific poet (he has published over fifteen volumes of his works) he is also a respected translator of Spanish, French, Italian and Latin poetry, including Dante's Purgatorio.
Merwin is probably best known for his poetry about the Vietnam War, and can be included among the canon of Vietnam War-era poets which includes such luminaries as Robert Bly, Adrienne Rich, Denise Levertov, Robert Lowell, Allen Ginsberg and Yusef Komunyakaa. The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, or the Vietnam Conflict, occurred in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia Robert Bly (born December 23, 1926 in Madison Minnesota) is an American Poet, Author, activist and Adrienne Cecile Rich (born May 16 1929 in Baltimore, Maryland) is an American poet essayist and Feminist. Denise Levertov was a British -born American poet Early life and influences Denise Levertov was born in Ilford, Essex England Robert Lowell (March 1 1917&ndashSeptember 12 1977 born Robert Traill Spence Lowell IV, was an American Poet whose works confessional in nature Irwin Allen Ginsberg (ˈgɪnzbɝg (June 3 1926 &ndash April 5 1997 was an American Poet. Yusef Komunyakaa (b 1947-04-29) is an American poet who currently teaches at New York University and is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers In 1998, Merwin wrote Folding Cliffs: A Narrative, an ambitious novel-in-verse about Hawaiian history and legend. Year 1998 ( MCMXCVIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar) The State of Hawaii ( or həˈwaɪʔiː Hawaiian: Mokuāina o Hawaii) is a state in the United States located on an Archipelago in the
Merwin's early subjects were frequently tied to mythological or legendary themes, while many of the poems featured animals, which were treated as emblems in the manner of William Blake. William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827 was an English poet, painter, and Printmaker. A volume called The Drunk in the Furnace (1960) marked a change for Merwin, in that he began to write in a much more autobiographical way. The title-poem is about Orpheus, seen as an old drunk. Orpheus ( Greek: Ὀρφεύς ˈɔrfiəs ( OHR-fee-uhs) or /ˈɔrfjuːs/ ( OHR'-fews) in English is a figure from Greek mythology born in 'Where he gets his spirits / it's a mystery', Merwin writes; 'But the stuff keeps him musical'. Another powerful poem of this period is 'Odysseus', which reworks the traditional theme in a way that plays off poems by Stevens and Graves on the same topic.
In the 1960s Merwin began to experiment boldly with metrical irregularity. His poems became much less tidy and controlled. He played with the forms of indirect narration typical of this period, a self-conscious experimentation explained in an essay called 'On Open Form' (1969). The Lice (1967) and The Carrier of Ladders (1970) (which won a Pulitzer Prize) remain his most influential volumes. These poems often used legendary subjects (as in 'The Hydra' or 'The Judgment of Paris') to explore highly personal themes.
In Merwin's later volumes, such as The Compass Flower (1977), Opening the Hand (1983), and The Rain in the Trees (1988), one sees him transforming earlier themes in fresh ways, developing an almost Zen-like indirection. His latest poems are densely imagistic, dream-like, and full of praise for the natural world. He has lived in Hawaii since the 1970s, and one sees the influence of this tropical landscape everywhere in the recent poems, though the landscape remains emblematic and personal. Migration won the 2005 National Book Award for poetry.
The Union City Reporter March 12, 2006. Events 538 - Witiges, king of the Ostrogoths ends his siege of Rome and retreats to Ravenna, leaving Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar.