Poetry Book Society Recommendation
W.S. Merwin is arguably the most influential American poet of the last half-century – an artist who has transfigured and reinvigorated the vision of poetry for our time. An essential voice in modern American literature, he was United States Poet Laureate in 2010-11.
Merwin composed the poems of Garden Time as he was losing his eyesight. When he could no longer see well enough to write, he dictated the poems to his wife, Paula. In this gorgeous, mindful and life-affirming book, he channels energy from animated sounds and memories to remind us that ‘the only hope is to be the daylight’.
This new collection written in his late-80s finds him deeply immersed in reflection on the passage of time and the frailty and sustaining power of memory. Switching between past and present, he shows us a powerful and moving vision of the eternal, focusing on images of mornings, sunsets, shifting seasons, stars, birds and insects to capture the connectedness of time, space and the natural world.