Untitled: 6/2/19


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Reading W.S. Merwin (1927-2019)

Poet W.S. Merwin died yesterday, March 15, 2019, at his home in Hawaii.  Poet, translator, environmentalist, memoirist, conservator of land, language, human imagination.  Soul.  A poem from his book The Shadow of Sirius (2009, Copper Canyon Press):

Just This

When I think of the patience I have had

back in the dark before I remember

or knew it was night until the light came

all at once at the speed it was born to

with all the time in the world to fly through

not concerned about ever arriving

and then the gathering of the first stars

unhurried in their flowering spaces

and far into the story the planets

cooling slowly and the ages of rain

then the seas starting to bear memory

the gaze of the first cell at its waking

how did this haste begin this little time

at any time this reading by lightning

scarcely a word this nothing this heaven

View fr. I-91 North, Connecticut; Nov. 22, 2017

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Retro-Update – Looking Back to Pages from a Handmade Book, c. 2014


(MPW collage on left; cut-out from old (OLD!) Art News on right)


(xerox litho on left; collage on right)


(on the left: carved wooden head from a fetish figure, Bakongo tribe, Congo; fr.The Art of Central Africa, pub. 1967.  MPW drawing on the right.)

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Version 2

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Re-Reading C.D. Wright, 10:30 p.m.


“. . . That the poems we snatch from the language must bear the habit of our thinking.

That their arrangement strengthens the authority on which each separate line is laid.

That they extend the line into perpetuity.

That they enlarge the circle.

That they awaken the dreamer.  That they awaken the schemer.

That they rectify the names.

That they draw not conclusions but further qualify doubt.  . . . .”

(p. 39; fr. The Poet, the Lion, Talking Pictures, El Farolito, a Wedding in St. Roch, the Big Box Store, the Warp in the Mirror, Spring, Midnights, Fire & All; pub. 2016, Copper Canyon Press)


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