William Stanley Merwin
Wish by William Stanley Merwin

Wish by William Stanley Merwin

The star in myHand is fallingAll the uniforms know what's no useMay I bow to Necessity notTo her hirelings

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Yesterday by William Stanley Merwin

Yesterday by William Stanley Merwin

My friend says I was not a good sonyou understandI say yes I understandhe says I did not goto see my parents very often you knowand I say yes I knoweven when I was living in the ...

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A Letter To Ruth Stone by William Stanley Merwin

A Letter To Ruth Stone by William Stanley Merwin

Now that you have caught sight of the other side of darkness the invisible side so that you can tell it is rising first thing in the morning and know it is there all through the ...

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A Codex by William Stanley Merwin

A Codex by William Stanley Merwin

It was a late book given up for lost again and again with its sentencesbare at last and phrases that seemed transparent revealing what had been there the whole waythe poems of ...

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It Is March by William Stanley Merwin

It Is March by William Stanley Merwin

It is March and black dust falls out of the booksSoon I will be goneThe tall spirit who lodged here hasLeft alreadyOn the avenues the colorless thread lies underOld pricesWhen you ...

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When You Go Away by William Stanley Merwin

When You Go Away by William Stanley Merwin

When you go away the wind clicks around to the northThe painters work all day but at sundown the paint fallsShowing the black wallsThe clock goes back to striking the same ...

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For The Anniversary Of My Death by William Stanley Merwin

For The Anniversary Of My Death by William Stanley Merwin

Every year without knowing it I have passed the dayWhen the last fires will wave to meAnd the silence will set outTireless travellerLike the beam of a lightless starThen I will no ...

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My Friends by William Stanley Merwin

My Friends by William Stanley Merwin

My friends without shields walk on the targetIt is late the windows are breakingMy friends without shoes leaveWhat they loveGrief moves among them as a fire amongIts bellsMy ...

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Air by William Stanley Merwin

Air by William Stanley Merwin

Naturally it is night.Under the overturned lute with itsOne string I am going my wayWhich has a strange sound.This way the dust, that way the dust.I listen to both sidesBut I keep ...

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The Burnt Child by William Stanley Merwin

The Burnt Child by William Stanley Merwin

Matches among other things that were not allowednever would belying high in a cool blue boxthat opened in other hands and there they all werebodies clean and smooth blue heads ...

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Before The Flood by William Stanley Merwin

Before The Flood by William Stanley Merwin

Why did he promise methat we would build ourselvesan ark all by ourselvesout in back of the houseon New York Avenuein Union City New Jerseyto the singing of the streetcarsafter ...

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December Night by William Stanley Merwin

December Night by William Stanley Merwin

The cold slope is standing in darknessBut the south of the trees is dry to the touchThe heavy limbs climb into the moonlight bearing feathersI came to watch theseWhite plants ...

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Separation by William Stanley Merwin

Separation by William Stanley Merwin

Your absence has gone through me Like thread through a needle.Everything I do is stitched with its color.

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The River Of Bees by William Stanley Merwin

The River Of Bees by William Stanley Merwin

In a dream I returned to the river of beesFive orange trees by the bridge andBeside two mills my houseInto whose courtyard a blind man followedThe goats and stood singingOf what ...

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Any Time by William Stanley Merwin

Any Time by William Stanley Merwin

How long ago the day iswhen at last I look at itwith the time it has takento be there still in itnow in the transparent lightwith the flight in the voicesthe beginning in the ...

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Green Fields by William Stanley Merwin

Green Fields by William Stanley Merwin

By this part of the century few are left who believe in the animals for they are not there in the carved partsof them served on plates and the pleas from the slatted trucks ...

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Yesterday by William Stanley Merwin

Yesterday by William Stanley Merwin

My friend says I was not a good sonyou understandI say yes I understandhe says I did not goto see my parents very often you knowand I say yes I knoweven when I was living in the ...

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Beggars And Kings by William Stanley Merwin

Beggars And Kings by William Stanley Merwin

In the eveningall the hours that weren't usedare emptied outand the beggars are waiting to gather them upto open themto find the sun in each oneand teach it its beggar's nameand ...

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For A Coming Extinction by William Stanley Merwin

For A Coming Extinction by William Stanley Merwin

Gray whaleNow that we are sinding you to The EndThat great godTell himThat we who follow you invented forgivenessAnd forgive nothingI write as though you could understandAnd I ...

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Term by William Stanley Merwin

Term by William Stanley Merwin

At the last minute a word is waitingnot heard that way before and not to berepeated or ever be rememberedone that always had been a household wordused in speaking of the ...

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Some Last Questions by William Stanley Merwin

Some Last Questions by William Stanley Merwin

What is the head A. AshWhat are the eyes A. The wells have fallen in and have InhabitantsWhat are the feet A. Thumbs left after the auctionNo what are the feet ...

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Unknown Bird by William Stanley Merwin

Unknown Bird by William Stanley Merwin

Out of the dry daysthrough the dusty leavesfar across the valleythose few notes neverheard here beforeone fluted phrasefloating over itswandering secretall at once wells ...

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Whenever I Go There by William Stanley Merwin

Whenever I Go There by William Stanley Merwin

Whenever I go there everything is changedThe stamps on the bandages the titlesOf the professors of waterThe portrait of Glare the reasons forThe white mourningIn new rocks new ...

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A Codex by William Stanley Merwin

A Codex by William Stanley Merwin

It was a late book given up for lost again and again with its sentencesbare at last and phrases that seemed transparent revealing what had been there the whole waythe poems of ...

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Wish by William Stanley Merwin

Wish by William Stanley Merwin

The star in myHand is fallingAll the uniforms know what's no useMay I bow to Necessity notTo her hirelings

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The Speed Of Light by William Stanley Merwin

The Speed Of Light by William Stanley Merwin

So gradual in those summers was the going of the age it seemed that the long days setting outwhen the stars faded over the mountains were not leaving us even as the birds ...

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The Source by William Stanley Merwin

The Source by William Stanley Merwin

There in the fringe of trees betweenthe upper field and the edge of the onebelow it that runs above the valleyone time I heard in the earlydays of summer the clear ringingsix ...

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Echoing Light by William Stanley Merwin

Echoing Light by William Stanley Merwin

When I was beginning to read I imaginedthat bridges had something to do with birdsand with what seemed to be cages but I knewthat they were not cages it must have been autumnwith ...

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Another River by William Stanley Merwin

Another River by William Stanley Merwin

The friends have gone home far up the valleyof that river into whose estuarythe man from England sailed in his own agein time to catch sight of the late forestsfurring in black ...

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End Of A Day by William Stanley Merwin

End Of A Day by William Stanley Merwin

In the long evening of April through the cool light Bayle's two sheep dogs sail down the lane like magpiesfor the flock a moment before he appears near the oaks a stub of ...

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Shadow Hand by William Stanley Merwin

Shadow Hand by William Stanley Merwin

Duporte the roofer that calm voice those sure hands gentling weathered tiles into new generations or half of him rising through a roof like some sea spirit from a wave to turn ...

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Remembering by William Stanley Merwin

Remembering by William Stanley Merwin

There are threads of old sound heard over and overphrases of Shakespeare or Mozart the slenderwands of the auroras playing out from theminto dark time the passing of a fewmigrants ...

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Identity by William Stanley Merwin

Identity by William Stanley Merwin

When Hans Hofmann became a hedgehogsomewhere in a Germany that hasvanished with its forests and hedgerowsShakespeare would have been a young actorstarting out in a country that ...

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Shore Birds by William Stanley Merwin

Shore Birds by William Stanley Merwin

While I think of them they are growing rareafter the distances they have followedall the way to the end for the first timetracing a memory they did not haveuntil they set out to ...

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The Nails by William Stanley Merwin

The Nails by William Stanley Merwin

I gave you sorrow to hang on your wallLike a calendar in one color.I wear a torn place on my sleeve.It isn't as simple as that. Between no place of mine and no place of yoursYou'd ...

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The Ships Are Made Ready In Silence by William Stanley Merwin

The Ships Are Made Ready In Silence by William Stanley Merwin

Moored to the same ring:The hour, the darkness and I,Our compasses hooded like falcons.Now the memory of you comes aching inWith a wash of broken bits which never left portIn ...

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Vehicles by William Stanley Merwin

Vehicles by William Stanley Merwin

This is a place on the way after the distances can no longer be kept straight here in this dark cornerof the barn a mound of wheels has convened along raveling courses to ...

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St Vincent’s by William Stanley Merwin

St Vincent’s by William Stanley Merwin

Thinking of rain clouds that rose over the city on the first day of the yearin the same monthI consider that I have lived daily and witheyes open and ears to hearthese years ...

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To The New Year by William Stanley Merwin

To The New Year by William Stanley Merwin

With what stillness at lastyou appear in the valleyyour first sunlight reaching downto touch the tips of a fewhigh leaves that do not stiras though they had not noticedand did not ...

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A Letter To Ruth Stone by William Stanley Merwin

A Letter To Ruth Stone by William Stanley Merwin

Now that you have caught sight of the other side of darkness the invisible side so that you can tell it is rising first thing in the morning and know it is there all through the ...

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Thanks by William Stanley Merwin

Thanks by William Stanley Merwin

Listen with the night falling we are saying thank you we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings we are running out of the glass rooms with our mouths full of food to ...

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To Luck by William Stanley Merwin

To Luck by William Stanley Merwin

In the cards and at the bend in the road we never saw you in the womb and in the crossfire in the numbers whatever you had your hand in which was everything we were ...

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The Love Of October by William Stanley Merwin

The Love Of October by William Stanley Merwin

A child looking at ruins grows youngerbut coldand wants to wake to a new nameI have been younger in Octoberthan in all the months of spring… walnut and may leaves the colorof ...

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