There are few opportunities in today’s world for a private audience with a personal hero, but the last appearance of the poet W.S. Merwin as the country’s poet laureate was, for an unusual number of people, one of them. The appearance itself was a rare one: At 82 and living on a former pineapple plantation on Maui, Merwin was well past the stage of his life when he might have regularly stumped for poetry, if he was ever that sort of poet — which he was not. And he was a bit of a recluse.
Poems from Federal Poets