Friday, July 2, 2010

The new poet laureate - W.S. Merwin

Okay, so what exactly is a poet laureate? It is clearly an auspicious thing for the poet, and I know that Cecil Day Lewis, one of my favourites was one, but more than that I am not actually sure. Are they just English or do Americans have one too? I really do have to find out more. Nevertheless, W.S. Merwin has just been named one, and the New York Review of Books helpfully published a short poem of his , which I think is just fabulous!

It is called: Why Some People do not Read Poetry

Because they already know that it means
stopping and without stopping they know that
beyond stopping it will mean listening
listening without hearing and maybe
then hearing without hearing and what would
they hear then what good would it be to them
like some small animal crossing the road
suddenly there but not seeming to move
at night and they are late and may be on
the wrong road over the mountain with all
the others asleep and not hitting it
that time as though forgetting it again


1 comment:

  1. We do have them in the US, even if that fact and others like it may be more widely known outside the US than in. ...
    I was looking at the list, and surprised that Dana Gioia was not on it- he headed up the National Endowment for the Arts here for some time quite recently, and I guess that got mixed up in my mind with laureate-hood. You see.