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Sunday, May 15, 2011

For the Anniversary of My Death

(W. S. Merwin, current poet laureate, appointed 2010;
and special bicentennial consultant, 1999-2000, with
Rita Dove and Louise Glűck)


Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Tireless traveler
Like the beam of a lightless star

Then I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
And bowing not knowing to what

~ W. S. Merwin, born 1927, American poet, essayist, and translator


GretchenJoanna said...

I'm so happy to read this poem, and to know that Merwin is our poet laureate. I am not up on the news! I read his book-length poem The Folded Cliffs and was spellbound.

Anonymous said...

I feel regret
even as I brush away
a spiders thread.

I have regret for what
I might have read
when now the author is dead.