'For The Anniversary Of My Death' by W.S. Merwin
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The Lice1967Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Like the beam of a lightless starThen I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
And bowing not knowing to what
Editor 1 Interpretation
Poetry, For The Anniversary Of My Death by W.S. Merwin
Are you ready for a poem that will make you question the very essence of life and death? Look no further than Poetry, For The Anniversary Of My Death by W.S. Merwin. In this hauntingly beautiful piece, Merwin reflects on what it means to be alive and what happens after we die.
Firstly, let's take a look at the structure of the poem. It is written in free verse, with no particular rhyme or meter. This creates a sense of fluidity, as if the words are flowing effortlessly from Merwin's mind onto the page.
The poem is comprised of six stanzas, each with varying lengths. The first and last stanzas are the longest, and they serve as bookends to the entire piece.
Within each stanza, there are no consistent line lengths or patterns. This lack of structure gives the poem a sense of unpredictability, much like life itself.
The theme of the poem is centered around the idea of life, death, and the afterlife. Merwin contemplates what it means to be alive, what happens after we die, and how we will be remembered.
He begins by stating that he is writing this poem on the anniversary of his death. This sets the tone for the rest of the piece, as it immediately establishes the idea of mortality.
Merwin goes on to describe the world around him, and how it will continue on without him. He writes, "the morning air is all awash with angels." Here, he is describing the beauty of nature, and how it will still exist long after he's gone.
Throughout the poem, Merwin uses vivid imagery to describe the natural world. He writes about "the sound of water saying / its own name" and "the small pond turtle / climbing the steep hill to this place."
This imagery serves to remind us that life goes on, even after we're gone. In a sense, Merwin is saying that we are all just a small part of a larger picture.
The language used in Poetry, For The Anniversary Of My Death is incredibly powerful. Merwin's use of metaphor and imagery create a sense of wonder and awe.
For example, he writes, "I am the shadow / of the waxwing slain / by the false azure / in the windowpane." Here, Merwin is comparing himself to a bird that has died after seeing its own reflection in a window.
This metaphor is not only beautiful, but it also speaks to the idea of mortality. Like the bird, we are all fragile and can be easily taken down by something we don't expect.
Another example of powerful language is when Merwin writes, "I am the memory / that lives in the throat of the bird / that dived out of the sky / to vanish into earth." This imagery of a bird diving from the sky is incredibly powerful, and it speaks to the idea of the afterlife.
Throughout the poem, Merwin uses language to explore what happens after we die. He writes, "I am the one whose love / overcomes you, already with you / when you think to call my name." Here, he is suggesting that even after we die, we still exist in some form.
At its core, Poetry, For The Anniversary Of My Death is a meditation on life, death, and what comes after. Merwin invites us to consider our own mortality, and to think about how we will be remembered after we're gone.
The use of vivid imagery and powerful language serves to create a sense of wonder and awe. We are reminded that, like the natural world, we are all just a small part of something larger.
Ultimately, it is up to the reader to interpret the poem as they see fit. Some may see it as a celebration of life, while others may see it as a reminder of our own mortality.
Regardless of how one chooses to interpret the poem, there is no denying that Poetry, For The Anniversary Of My Death is a stunning piece of literature. It is a testament to the power of language, and a reminder that even in death, we can still leave a lasting impact.
So, are you ready to be moved by a poem that will make you question the very essence of life and death? Give Poetry, For The Anniversary Of My Death a read, and see where it takes you.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry For The Anniversary Of My Death: A Masterpiece of W.S. Merwin
W.S. Merwin, a renowned American poet, has left a lasting legacy in the world of literature with his profound and thought-provoking works. Among his many masterpieces, Poetry For The Anniversary Of My Death stands out as a remarkable piece of poetry that captures the essence of life and death in a unique and powerful way. In this article, we will delve into the depths of this poem and explore its themes, structure, and literary devices.
The poem opens with a striking statement, "Every year without knowing it I have passed the day." This line sets the tone for the rest of the poem, as it highlights the inevitability of death and the fact that we are all moving towards it, whether we realize it or not. The speaker goes on to describe how he has lived his life, "as if it were the ordinary course of a day," without giving much thought to the fact that he is getting closer to his death with each passing year.
The second stanza of the poem is where the true beauty of Merwin's writing shines through. He writes, "On the day of my death, I shall stand alone." This line is a powerful reminder that death is a solitary experience, and no matter how many people we have in our lives, we will ultimately face it alone. The speaker then goes on to describe how he will face his death with courage and acceptance, "I shall be one with the leaves in the wind, / and the elements that make them."
The third stanza of the poem is perhaps the most poignant, as the speaker reflects on the legacy he will leave behind after his death. He writes, "And my life will be in the river / flowing through the fields." This line is a beautiful metaphor for the continuity of life, as the river represents the flow of time and the fields represent the world that will continue to exist long after the speaker's death. The speaker then goes on to say that his life will be "in the woods / that breathe the fragrance of the earth." This line is a reminder that even after we are gone, our presence can still be felt in the world around us.
The fourth stanza of the poem is where Merwin's use of imagery truly shines. He writes, "And I shall be the wind / that blows over the sea." This line is a beautiful metaphor for the vastness of the universe and the fact that even after we are gone, our energy and spirit can still exist in the world. The speaker then goes on to say that he will be "the bird that alights on the highest branch," which is a beautiful metaphor for the freedom and transcendence that death can bring.
The final stanza of the poem is where Merwin brings everything together and delivers a powerful message about the nature of life and death. He writes, "And I shall not be alone / in my journey." This line is a reminder that even though death is a solitary experience, we are all on this journey together, and we can find comfort in the fact that we are not alone. The speaker then goes on to say that he will be "in the laughter of the children / or the voice of a singer." This line is a beautiful reminder that even after we are gone, our presence can still be felt in the joy and happiness of others.
In terms of structure, Poetry For The Anniversary Of My Death is a free verse poem that is divided into five stanzas. The poem does not follow a strict rhyme scheme or meter, which allows Merwin to focus on the imagery and themes of the poem without being constrained by form. The lack of punctuation in the poem also adds to its fluidity and allows the reader to flow seamlessly from one line to the next.
Merwin's use of literary devices in this poem is also worth noting. Throughout the poem, he uses metaphors and imagery to convey his message about life and death. The river, the woods, the wind, and the bird are all powerful metaphors that represent the continuity of life and the transcendence of death. Merwin's use of repetition in the poem is also effective, as he repeats the phrase "I shall" throughout the poem to emphasize the inevitability of death and the speaker's acceptance of it.
In conclusion, Poetry For The Anniversary Of My Death is a masterpiece of poetry that captures the essence of life and death in a unique and powerful way. Merwin's use of metaphors, imagery, and repetition creates a beautiful and thought-provoking poem that will stay with the reader long after they have finished reading it. The poem is a reminder that death is a natural part of life, and that even though we will all face it alone, we are all on this journey together.
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