"There are few great poets alive at any one time, and W.S. Merwin is one of them. Read him." --The Guardian "There are few great poets alive at any one time, and W.S. Merwin is one of them. Read him." --The Guardian "Merwin has attained a transcendent and transformative elevation of beaming perception, exquisite balance, and clarifying beauty." --Booklist, starred review ofThe Moon before Morning "Merwin has become instantly recognizable on the page." --Helen Vendler,The New York Review of Books W.S. Merwin composedGarden Time during the difficult process of losing his eyesight. When he could no longer see well enough to write, he dictated his new poems to his wife, Paula. In this gorgeous, mindful, and life-affirming book, our greatest poet channels energy from animated sounds and memories to remind us that "the only hope is to be the daylight." From "A Breath of Day": Last night I slept on the floor of the sea in an unsounded part of the ocean in the morning it was a long way up through the dark streets of a silent country with no language in its empty houses until I had almost reached the surface of a morning that I had never seen then a breeze came to it and I began to remember the voices of young leaves . . . W.S. Merwin served as Poet Laureate of the United States and has received every major literary accolade, including two Pulitzer prizes, most recently forThe Shadow of Sirius (Copper Canyon), and the National Book Award forMigration: New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon). He lives in Hawaii.
That said, the poems in the second half of the book devolved into a murkiness, in which Merwin largely lost the power of the specific and tangible image and instead noodles in a kind of haze thanking his lucky stars for his late-in-life love or remarking with wonder on his old age. Neither the love nor his old age are presented vividly, so the effect is largely maudlin.