A Review of W.S. Merwin’s The Lice, Fiftieth Anniversary Edition for NYJB

No book has more to say about our times than W.S. Merwin’s, The Lice. I was honored to have the opportunity to review the Fiftieth Anniversary Edition, published by Copper Canyon Press, for the New York Journal of Books. Here is an excerpt of the review:

In this fiftieth anniversary edition, there exists the opportunity to access Merwin’s writings created in such tumultuous times, yet along with the reading of this volume is the eerie sense that his poems are particularly suited to the current condition of our world. So well-matched, in fact, that someone not familiar with the background of The Lice will see the poems’ statements as relevant to the unfolding of the political and socioeconomic dynamics that daily are unveiled across the media, worldwide. Look at the second stanza of Merwin’s poem, “The Last One”:

 

Well they cut everything because why not.

Everything was theirs because they thought so.

It fell into its shadows and they took both away.

Some to have some for burning.

 

Click here to read the review at NYJB.

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About Brucearlenwasserman

Bruce Arlen Wasserman assembled his first poetry manuscript at the age of seventeen and farmed and worked as a blacksmith in his twenties. He received a BA in Mass Communications from Winona State University and is enrolled in Vermont College of Fine Arts’ MFA in Writing program. His literary career has spanned work in news and periodicals, as a freelancer and an editor of professional journals. His publications include three poetry chapbooks and a recent poetry collection, An Undiscovered Country (Horace Simerman Literary Press, 2011). Beyond poetry and a current novel in the works, Bruce is a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books, creates visual art as a potter, performs as a musician in a band, trains horses near Yellowstone National Park and is a full time dentist in clinical practice.
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