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Garden Time


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About the Author

W.S. Merwin (1927-2019) was Poet Laureate of the United States in 2010-11. He received most of the principal prizes in American poetry, including the Pulitzer Prize (twice), the Bollingen Prize and the Tanning Prize and a Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award. Bloodaxe published his Selected Poems in 2007, prior to which his poetry had been unavailable in Britain for over 35 years. As well as being an internationally renowned poet, W.S. Merwin was the author of many classic translations, including editions of Neruda, Dante, The Song of Roland, The Poem of the Cid, and (from Bloodaxe) Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. His latest titles from Bloodaxe are Selected Poems (2007); The Shadow of Sirius (2009), which won him his second Pulitzer Prize; The Moon Before Morning (2014); and Garden Time (2016). All three of his late collections from Bloodaxe are Poetry Book Society Recommendations. Born in New York City, he taught at several universities, and lived on the Pacific island of Maui, tending to his writing and to his garden of rare and endangered palm trees.


Now aged 89, [Merwin] composed the poems of Garden Time when he was going blind. His graceful, often stunning poems have been one of the pleasures of poetry readers for decades. At a time when insularity and identity politics seem, daily, to be set upon reducing and simplifying the complexity of the world, his new work again shows off the cosmopolitan virtues of this great American poet. Focused brilliantly on what we see and how we are seen, he is as urgent and perceptive as ever. -- John McAuliffe * The Irish Times *

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