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.
The Moon Before Morning is a love letter composed in a stunning rush of memory. Answering the call set forth in The Shadow of Sirius (2009), which won him his second Pulitzer Prize, Merwin extends the emotional and intellectual reach of that collection with passionate reverence for the natural world, bittersweet reflection on time’s irrevocable ravages, and equanimity informed by a lifetime of writing and practised contemplation.
‘W.S. Merwin’s legacy is unquestionably secure: his best and most fierce poems are moody, visionary compositions that dive into the unconscious and the seeds of existence with an inwardness and scrutiny unique in American poetry’ – David Biespiel, Poetry.
'A fastidious, elegant writer, he is a calligrapher of consciousness, a fine penman aware that he is writing not on parchment but in water… Merwin is the unmistakable heir of the Emerson and Whitman who so ecstatically hymned flux' - M. Wynn Thomas, Guardian.