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Full Version: W. S. Merwin and Pablo Neruda
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I was browsing poets and came across William Merwin and Pablo Neruda. So far I find their work fascinating and I'd like to know what collections would be best to look at from them, especially for Neruda because I'm studying Spanish and I'd like an original publication of his(or just non-translated). Meanwhile I came across this poem from Merwin and I'd like to know what you all think about it:

Yesterday
by W. S. Merwin

My friend says I was not a good son
you understand
I say yes I understand

he says I did not go
to see my parents very often you know
and I say yes I know

even when I was living in the same city he says
maybe I would go there once
a month or maybe even less
I say oh yes

he says the last time I went to see my father
I say the last time I saw my father

he says the last time I saw my father
he was asking me about my life
how I was making out and he
went into the next room
to get something to give me

oh I say
feeling again the cold
of my father's hand the last time
he says and my father turned
in the doorway and saw me
look at my wristwatch and he
said you know I would like you to stay
and talk with me

oh yes I say

but if you are busy he said
I don't want you to feel that you
have to
just because I'm here

I say nothing

he says my father
said maybe
you have important work you are doing
or maybe you should be seeing
somebody I don't want to keep you

I look out the window
my friend is older than I am
he says and I told my father it was so
and I got up and left him then
you know

though there was nowhere I had to go
and nothing I had to do
Generally speaking, Merwin wrote so much it is almost impossible not to find at least a poem or 2 that appeal to you. I always thought he read a lot like a sane version of Berryman but, for me, Berryman's insanity was the most interesting thing about him. This poem is typical of U. S. post modern era confessional poetry. It is well-crafted but seems to lack the zing, salaciousness or true despondency of some of the better ones out there. If you like this, I would recommend you read some Berryman's Dreamsongs, as you might really like them as well.