Goodbye, W.S. Merwin

Last week famous nature poet W.S. Merwin died at the age of 92. His writing legacy will definitely outlive him.

Bow River at Banff, photo by me (spring 2017)

It was sad that W.S. Merwin passed away so soon after nature writer Mary Oliver (died January 17th). It seems to be that time when we lose some of the good ones.

My favourite Merwin poems are:


I want to tell what the forests

were like

I will have to speak

in a forgotten language.

W.S. Merwin, 1988

And my second favourite is this excerpt from the poem Berryman (a tribute to his mentor, the poet John Berryman):

I had hardly begun to read
I asked how can you ever be sure
that what you write is really
any good at all and he said you can’t

you can’t you can never be sure
you die without knowing
whether anything you wrote was any good
if you have to be sure don’t write

W.S. Merwin, 2005

Small things to think about as you go about your day today.

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