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To the New Year

W.S. Merwin
W.S. Merwin
  • With what stillness at last
  • you appear in the valley
  • your first sunlight reaching down
  • to touch the tips of a few
  • high leaves that do not stir
  • as though they had not noticed
  • and did not know you at all
  • then the voice of a dove calls
  • from far away in itself
  • to the hush of the morning
  • so this is the sound of you
  • here and now whether or not
  • anyone hears it this is
  • where we have come with our age
  • our knowledge such as it is
  • and our hopes such as they are
  • invisible before us
  • untouched and still possible

William S. Merwin was born in 1927 in New York City and grew up in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The author of more than 50 books of poetry, translation, and prose, he has twice been awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and is the recipient of the National Book Award for Poetry and in 2010 was named United States Poet Laureate.  Strongly objecting to the U.S. war against the people of Vietnam during the late 1960s, Merwin donated his prize money from the 1971 Pulitzer Prize to the draft resistance movement. He received another Pulitzer for his volume The Shadow of Sirius, a volume that was published in 2008 by Copper Canyon Press. He currently lives in Hawaii. “To the New Year” is from his volume Present Company, published by Copper Canyon Press in 2005, and is reprinted with the permission of Copper Canyon Press.

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W.S. Merwin
W.S. Merwin
  • With what stillness at last
  • you appear in the valley
  • your first sunlight reaching down
  • to touch the tips of a few
  • high leaves that do not stir
  • as though they had not noticed
  • and did not know you at all
  • then the voice of a dove calls
  • from far away in itself
  • to the hush of the morning
  • so this is the sound of you
  • here and now whether or not
  • anyone hears it this is
  • where we have come with our age
  • our knowledge such as it is
  • and our hopes such as they are
  • invisible before us
  • untouched and still possible

William S. Merwin was born in 1927 in New York City and grew up in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The author of more than 50 books of poetry, translation, and prose, he has twice been awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and is the recipient of the National Book Award for Poetry and in 2010 was named United States Poet Laureate.  Strongly objecting to the U.S. war against the people of Vietnam during the late 1960s, Merwin donated his prize money from the 1971 Pulitzer Prize to the draft resistance movement. He received another Pulitzer for his volume The Shadow of Sirius, a volume that was published in 2008 by Copper Canyon Press. He currently lives in Hawaii. “To the New Year” is from his volume Present Company, published by Copper Canyon Press in 2005, and is reprinted with the permission of Copper Canyon Press.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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