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.

About Bruce Arlen Wasserman

Bruce Arlen Wasserman assembled his first poetry manuscript with a typewriter on the kitchen table when he was seventeen, farmed and worked as a blacksmith, drove a tractor-trailer in college, edited professional journals, wrote as a freelance journalist and is a dentist. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, was a semi-finalist for the Francine Ringold Awards for New Writers, a semi-finalist for the Proverse Prize and won the Anna Davidson Rosenberg 2019 Poetry Award. His fiction manuscript, The Aroma of Light, was a finalist with LSU Press. His poetry manuscript, The Broken Night, will be published by Finishing Line Press in July, 2022. Bruce received an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a literary critic for the New York Journal of Books. His writing has been published in the Proverse Poetry Prize Anthology, The Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review, The River Heron Review, Kindred Literary Magazine, the Broad River Review, Cathexis Northwest Press, High Shelf Literary Magazine, Wild Roof Journal and the Washington Independent Review of Books. Beyond writing, he creates visual art as a potter at Bruce Arlen Wasserman Studio, where he draws from the reservoir of poetry and his experience in working iron and wood, correlating a continued exploration of language, function and esoteric form. At other times, Bruce is a musician, operates a small ranch and trains horses from time to time.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s