W S Merwin’s writing life

New-Coll-garden1-67

 

 

https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/2692/w-s-merwin-the-art-of-poetry-no-38-w-s-merwin

 

INTERVIEWER

Is it some profound connection to the natural world?

MERWIN

The connection is there—our blood is connected with the sea. It’s the recognition of that connection. It’s the sense that we are absolutely, intimately connected with every living thing. We don’t have to be sentimental and pious about it, but we can’t turn our backs on that fact and survive. When we destroy the so-called natural world around us we’re simply destroying ourselves. And I think it’s irreversible.

INTERVIEWER

Do you see a connection between poetry and prayer?

MERWIN

I guess the simple answer is yes, if only because I think of poetry as an attempt to use language as completely as possible. And if you want to do that, obviously you’re not concerned with language as decoration, or language as amusement, although you certainly want language to be pleasurable. Pleasure is part of the completeness. I think of poetry as having to do with the completeness of life, and the completeness of relation with one’s experience, completing one’s experience, articulating it, making sense of it.

INTERVIEWER

How about the influence of Zen in your work?

MERWIN

When you talk about prayer in Judeo-Christian terms, prayer is usually construed as a kind of dualistic act. You’re praying to somebody else for something. Prayer in the Western sense is usually construed as making a connection. I don’t think that connection has to be made; it’s already there. Poetry probably has to do with the recognizing of that connection, rather than trying to create something that isn’t there.

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About Kate4grace

I love writing and conversation,wild flowers,music and air
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