W. S. Merwin

Edward Brunner (Southern Illinois University)
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W. S. Merwin’s reputation as a poet was established early (his first book of poetry was selected by W. H. Auden for the Yale Younger Poets Series when he was twenty-four), and sustained by numerous volumes of poetry appearing first from Atheneum publishers and then Alfred A. Knopf (two of the most prestigious New York houses), and then amplified by a variety of writings that, in recent years, have included the satirical prose poem, the family memoir, and the travel essay. Moreover, throughout a publishing career spanning more than a half-century, he has consistently won admiration for translations that include significant cultural epics (

The Song of Roland


The Poem of the Cid

, the “Purgatorio” of

The Divine Comedy

, and

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

), as well as twentieth century…

3309 words

Citation: Brunner, Edward. "W. S. Merwin". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 April 2009 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=3094, accessed 13 June 2024.]

3094 W. S. Merwin 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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