The First Four Books of Poems
Author: W.S. Merwin
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press (2000)
This edition includes former United States Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin’s four acclaimed early works: A Mask for Janus, The Dancing Bears, Green with Beasts, and The Drunk in the Furnace. In choosing Merwin’s first book for the Yale Younger Poets Award in 1952, W.H. Auden noted that Merwin had a “gift for myth.” This ability marked his poetry throughout his long and distinguished career, and The First Four Books of Poems provides a map to a deeper understanding of the stylistic and intellectual evolution of a major poet.
“The intentions of Merwin’s poetry are as broad as the biosphere yet as intimate as a whisper. He conveys in the sweet simplicity of grounded language a sense of the self where it belongs, floating between heaven, earth, and the underground.”