Host(s): Gregory Fiztgerald and William Heyen
Tape order number: VF-15-3
Visit Date: February 29, 1968
Length: 28 minutes
Brief Summary: Merwin discusses his changing poetic style, saying that he never stays excited about any style for very long, and that he now wants to write about direct experiences. He talks about the gradual abandonment of punctuation in his poems and the reliance on the language of a poem that a lack of punctuation highlights. Merwin also talks about the inability to shut the politics of the day out of his poems, and the "mutual revulsion" between are and topicality.
Making something topical, works as a poem...if you keep it simply to the topical, it ceases to be a poem and moves toward propaganda.
-- W. S. Merwin