My Friends – William Stanley Merwin

My Friends My friends without shields walk on the target It is late the windows are breaking My friends without shoes leave What they love…

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When You Go Away – William Stanley Merwin

When You Go Away When you go away the wind clicks around to the north The painters work all day but at sundown the paint…

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Before The Flood – William Stanley Merwin

Before The Flood Why did he promise me that we would build ourselves an ark all by ourselves out in back of the house on…

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The Nails – William Stanley Merwin

The Nails I gave you sorrow to hang on your wall Like a calendar in one color. I wear a torn place on my sleeve….

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It Is March – William Stanley Merwin

It Is March It is March and black dust falls out of the books Soon I will be gone The tall spirit who lodged here…

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Vehicles – William Stanley Merwin

Vehicles This is a place on the way after the distances can no longer be kept straight here in this dark corner of the barn…

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Air – William Stanley Merwin

Air Naturally it is night. Under the overturned lute with its One string I am going my way Which has a strange sound. This way…

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The Love Of October – William Stanley Merwin

The Love Of October A child looking at ruins grows younger but cold and wants to wake to a new name I have been younger…

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Identity – William Stanley Merwin

Identity When Hans Hofmann became a hedgehog somewhere in a Germany that has vanished with its forests and hedgerows Shakespeare would have been a young…

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Yesterday – William Stanley Merwin

Yesterday My friend says I was not a good son you understand I say yes I understand he says I did not go to see…

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Another River – William Stanley Merwin

Another River The friends have gone home far up the valley of that river into whose estuary the man from England sailed in his own…

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The Burnt Child – William Stanley Merwin

The Burnt Child Matches among other things that were not allowed never would be lying high in a cool blue box that opened in other…

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Green Fields – William Stanley Merwin

Green Fields By this part of the century few are left who believe in the animals for they are not there in the carved parts…

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Whenever I Go There – William Stanley Merwin

Whenever I Go There Whenever I go there everything is changed The stamps on the bandages the titles Of the professors of water The portrait…

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A Letter To Ruth Stone – William Stanley Merwin

A Letter To Ruth Stone Now that you have caught sight of the other side of darkness the invisible side so that you can tell…

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Thanks – William Stanley Merwin

Thanks Listen with the night falling we are saying thank you we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings we are running…

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For A Coming Extinction – William Stanley Merwin

For A Coming Extinction Gray whale Now that we are sinding you to The End That great god Tell him That we who follow you…

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Unknown Bird – William Stanley Merwin

Unknown Bird Out of the dry days through the dusty leaves far across the valley those few notes never heard here before one fluted phrase…

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A Codex – William Stanley Merwin

A Codex It was a late book given up for lost again and again with its sentences bare at last and phrases that seemed transparent…

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St Vincent’s – William Stanley Merwin

St Vincent’s Thinking of rain clouds that rose over the city on the first day of the year in the same month I consider that…

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For The Anniversary Of My Death – William Stanley Merwin

For The Anniversary Of My Death Every year without knowing it I have passed the day When the last fires will wave to me And…

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To Luck – William Stanley Merwin

To Luck In the cards and at the bend in the road we never saw you in the womb and in the crossfire in the…

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Term – William Stanley Merwin

Term At the last minute a word is waiting not heard that way before and not to be repeated or ever be remembered one that…

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End Of A Day – William Stanley Merwin

End Of A Day In the long evening of April through the cool light Bayle’s two sheep dogs sail down the lane like magpies for…

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The Speed Of Light – William Stanley Merwin

The Speed Of Light So gradual in those summers was the going of the age it seemed that the long days setting out when the…

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Shore Birds – William Stanley Merwin

Shore Birds While I think of them they are growing rare after the distances they have followed all the way to the end for the…

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December Night – William Stanley Merwin

December Night The cold slope is standing in darkness But the south of the trees is dry to the touch The heavy limbs climb into…

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The Source – William Stanley Merwin

The Source There in the fringe of trees between the upper field and the edge of the one below it that runs above the valley…

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Shadow Hand – William Stanley Merwin

Shadow Hand Duporte the roofer that calm voice those sure hands gentling weathered tiles into new generations or half of him rising through a roof…

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Echoing Light – William Stanley Merwin

Echoing Light When I was beginning to read I imagined that bridges had something to do with birds and with what seemed to be cages…

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To The New Year – William Stanley Merwin

To The New Year With what stillness at last you appear in the valley your first sunlight reaching down to touch the tips of a…

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Some Last Questions – William Stanley Merwin

Some Last Questions What is the head A. Ash What are the eyes A. The wells have fallen in and have Inhabitants What are the…

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Beggars And Kings – William Stanley Merwin

Beggars And Kings In the evening all the hours that weren’t used are emptied out and the beggars are waiting to gather them up to…

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The Ships Are Made Ready In Silence – William Stanley Merwin

The Ships Are Made Ready In Silence Moored to the same ring: The hour, the darkness and I, Our compasses hooded like falcons. Now the…

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Remembering – William Stanley Merwin

Remembering There are threads of old sound heard over and over phrases of Shakespeare or Mozart the slender wands of the auroras playing out from…

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Any Time – William Stanley Merwin

Any Time How long ago the day is when at last I look at it with the time it has taken to be there still…

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The River Of Bees – William Stanley Merwin

The River Of Bees In a dream I returned to the river of bees Five orange trees by the bridge and Beside two mills my…

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