W. S. Merwin quotes

  • Your absence has gone through me
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Missing You #Gone #Absence

  • Separation Your absence has gone through me Like thread through a needle. Everything I do is stitched with its color.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #I Miss You #Loss #Color

  • From what we cannot hold, the stars are made.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Stars #Made

  • We are asleep with compasses in our hands.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Hands #Compass

  • I think there's a kind of desperate hope built into poetry that one really wants, hopelessly, to save the world. One is trying to say everything that can be said for the things that one loves while there's still time.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Thinking #Trying #Want

  • The story of each stone leads back to a mountain.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Mountain #Stories #Stones

  • Now all my teachers are dead except silence.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Teacher #Silence

  • I say to my breath once again, little breath come from in front of me, go away behind me, row me quietly now, as far as you can, for I am an abyss that I am trying to cross.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Going Away #Trying #Littles

  • I have with me all that I do not know. I have lost none of it.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Lost

  • Through all of youth I was looking for you without knowing what I was looking for
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Knowing #Youth

  • Certain words now in our knowledge we will not use again, and we will never forget them. We need them. Like the back of the picture.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Needs #Use #Never Forget

  • Poetry is a way of looking at the world for the first time.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Art #World #Way

  • On the last day of the world I would want to plant a tree
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Tree #World #Want

  • we travel far and fast and as we pass through we forget where we have been
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Forget

  • Obviously a garden is not the wilderness but an assembly of shapes, most of them living, that owes some share of its composition, it’s appearance, to human design and effort, human conventions and convenience, and the human pursuit of that elusive, indefinable harmony that we call beauty. It has a life of its own, an intricate, willful, secret life, as any gardener knows. It is only the humans in it who think of it as a garden. But a garden is a relationship, which is one of the countless reasons why it is never finished.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Garden #Thinking #Design

  • My words are the garment of what I shall never be Like the tucked sleeve of a one-armed boy.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Boys #Garments #Sleeves

  • We are not born to survive. Only to live.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Life #Live Life #Born

  • Every year without knowing it I have passed the day When the last fires will wave to me
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Death #Self #Years

  • Any work of art makes one very simple demand on anyone who genuinely wants to get in touch with it. And that is to stop. You've got to stop what you're doing, what you're thinking, and what you're expecting and just be there for the poem for however long it takes.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Art #Simple #Thinking

  • Poetry is like making a joke. If you get one word wrong at the end of a joke, you've lost the whole thing.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Poetry #Ends #Lost

  • Modern poetry, for me, began not in English at all but in Spanish, in the poems of Lorca.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Modern #Lorca

  • I had hardly begun to read I asked how can you ever be sure that what you write is really any good at all and he said you can't you can't you can never be sure you die without knowing whether anything you wrote was any good if you have to be sure don't write
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Writing #Knowing #Said

  • come back believer in shade believer in silence and elegance believer in ferns believer in patience believer in the rain
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Rain #Silence #Shade

  • After an age of leaves and feathers someone dead thought of the mountain as money and cut the trees that were here and the wind and the rain at night. It is hard to say it.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Rain #Cutting #Night

  • I offer you what I have my Poverty
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Poverty #Offers

  • Utterance" Sitting over words Very late I have heard a kind of whispered sighing Not far Like a night wind in pines or like the sea in the dark The echo of everything that has ever Been spoken Still spinning its one syllable Between the earth and silence
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Dark #Night #Wind

  • What you remember saves you.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Remember

  • So this is what I am Pondering his eyes that could not Conceive that I was a creature to run from I who have always believed too much in words
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Running #Eye #Too Much

  • My cradle was a shoe.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Shoes #Cradle

  • Send me out into another life lord because this one is growing faint I do not think it goes all the way
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Thinking #Way #Growing

  • Of course there is nothing the matter with the stars It is my emptiness among them While they drift farther away in the invisible morning
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Morning #Stars #Numbness

  • I will take with me the emptiness of my hands. What you do not have you find everywhere
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Hands #Emptiness

  • I needed my mistakes in their order to get me here
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Mistake #Order #My Mistakes

  • You grieve Not that heaven does not exist but That it exists without us
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Grieving #Heaven #Doe

  • When a poem is really finished, you can't change anything. You can't move words around. You can't say, 'In other words, you mean.' No, that's not it. There are no other words in which you mean it. This is it.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Moving #Mean

  • I have been younger in October than in all the months of spring.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Spring #October #Months

  • We are the echo of the future.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Future #Echoes

  • part memory part distance remaining mine in the ways that I learn to miss you
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Memories #Distance #Missing

  • In the time that I have been acquainted with this region I have become increasingly aware of it as a testament of water, the origin and guide of its contours and gradients and of all the lives - the plants and small creatures, and the culture - that evolved here. That was always here to be seen, of course, and the recognition has forced itself, in one form or other, upon people in every part of the world who have been directly involved with the growing of living things. The gardener who ignores it is soon left with no garden.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Garden #People #Water

  • What I really believe is the only hopeful relation between our life and the whole of life is one of reverence and respect and of feeling at one with it. The other attitude which is the one our society is based on is devastating and it is killing the earth and it is killing us too.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Attitude #Believe #Hopeful

  • This is what I have heard at last the wind in December lashing the old trees with rain unseen rain racing along the tiles under the moon wind rising and falling wind with many clouds trees in the night wind.
    -- W. S. Merwin

    #Rain #Fall #Moon