Sunday, August 8, 2010

it survived beyond/ what could be known at the time

From the announcement of the appointment of W.S. Merwin as the Library of Congress’s Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2010-2011:
"William Merwin’s poems are often profound and, at the same time, accessible to a vast audience," Billington said. "He leads us upstream from the flow of everyday things in life to half-hidden headwaters of wisdom about life itself. In his poem ‘Heartland,’ Merwin seems to suggest that a land of the heart within us might help map the heartland beyond—and that this ‘map’ might be rediscovered in something like a library, where ‘it survived beyond/ what could be known at the time/ in its archaic/ untaught language/ that brings the bees to the rosemary.’"