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Unformatted text preview: In an unusual form of celebration, Merwin imagines the annual date of his demise in "For the Anniversary of My Death" (1967). To typify the opposite of life, he envisions silence traveling into space "like the beam of a lightless star." In the second stanza, the experience of non-being allows him to flee the surprising qualities of earthly life, which drapes him like "a strange garment." Among memorable experiences, he singles out "the love of one woman," an unfinished statement that leaves questions in the reader's mind about its obviously private significance. When the speaker is refined into spirit and no longer answers to life, he can truly know divinity the source of "three days of rain," a wren's song, and clearing weather. Grimly regretful of human waste, "For a Coming Extinction" (1967) expresses Merwin's pessimism about the earth's future. Line lengths vary from double beats in lines 1 and 4 to longer statements of about the earth's future....
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- Fall '08