"Separation Your absence has gone through me Like thread through a needle. Everything I do is stitched with its color": First Edition of the Collected Poems of W.S. Merwin in Two Volumes; Each Signed by Him

  • W.S. Merwin: Collected Poems 1952-1993 & Collected Poems 1996-2011.

W.S. Merwin: Collected Poems 1952-1993 & Collected Poems 1996-2011.


Item Number: 3209

New York: Library of America, 2013.

First edition of the collected poems of this Pulitzer Prize-winning poet. Octavo, original black cloth, two volumes. Both volumes are signed by W.S. Merwin on the title page. Both volumes are fine in fine dust jackets.

Oracular and elegant, W. S. Merwin’s poetry reveals a heightened sense of what is essential to human consciousness: the fragile framing of nature, the mysteries of memory and perception, the inescapable fact of our mortality. In a career spanning seven decades— from his brilliant emergence as the winner of the Yale Younger Poets’ Prize in 1952 to his recent term as U.S. Poet Laureate—he has fashioned a poetics unmistakably his own, marked by a stripped-down, unpunctuated style that foregrounds his responsiveness, spiritual insights, and facility with unadorned, elemental language. Now, with this two-volume edition, Merwin becomes only the second living poet to have his work collected by The Library of America. Here are such landmark books as his debut volume A Mask for Janus (1952), which shows the young poet engaged in a fruitful dialogue with Auden and Berryman; The Lice (1967), with its impassioned political poems about the Vietnam War and ecological catastrophe; The Vixen (1996), which offers vivid recollections of southwestern France; the epic verse novel The Folding Cliffs (2008), set in nineteenth-century Hawaii; and The Shadow of Sirius (2008), with its “late poems / that are made of words / that have come the whole way / they have been there.”

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