W.S. Merwin: The Breakfast of U.S. Poet Laureate Champions

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This guest post comes to us from KCRW’s Connie Alvarez.

W.S. Merwin & KCRW's Michael SilverblattI had the pleasure of accompanying Bookworm’s Michael Silverblatt to an interview with newly minted U.S. Poet Laureate, W.S. Merwin.  Michael has described Merwin’s poetry as “beautifully evanescent — like memories and dreams that gently fade as they reverberate against newly forming words and memories.”  So nice!

But as an occasional Good Foodie, I couldn’t help but wonder what the man ate.  What fuels a Poet Laureate’s brain?  I confessed this to his wife Paula, and she said, “Blueberries!  He loves blueberries in yogurt.  And honey, don’t forget the honey.  He even wrote a poem about blueberries!”

(keep reading for the poem)

Blueberries After Dark

So this is the way the night tastes
one at a time
not early or late

my mother told me
that I was not afraid of the dark
and when I looked it was true

how did she know
so long ago

with her father dead
almost before she could remember
and her mother following him
not long after
and then her grandmother
who had brought her up
and a little later
her only brother
and then her firstborn
gone as soon
as he was born
she knew