THE WAR, by W.S. Merwin

Sam Hamill, Writing for Peace AdviserCommemorating Ten Years of Poetic Resistance, PAW Post No. 7

During the month of February, 2013, Writing for Peace  commemorates the Tenth Anniversary of Poets Against the War with Daily PAW Posts from a host of contributors.

To purchase a copy of POETS AGAINST THE WAR from Powell’s independent bookstore, click here.


by W.S. Merwin

There are statues moving into a war
as we move into a dream
we will never remember

they lived before us
but in the dream we may die

and each carrying
one wing as in life
we may go down all the steps of the heart
into swamp water
and draw our hands down after us
out of the names

and we may lose one by one our features
the stone may say good-bye to us
we may say good-bye to the stone
and embark
like a left foot alone in the air
and hear at last voices like small bells
and be drawn ashore

and wake with the war going on


“The War,” taken from Migration: New and Selected Poems, by W.S. Merwin, and used here with permission from the author.


W.S. Merwin, Writing for Peace Guest Poet

About W.S. Merwin

William Stanley Merwin is an American poet, credited with over fifty books of poetry, translation and prose. Merwin has received many honors, including the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (in both 1971 and 2009), the Tanning Prize, and the Golden Wreath of the Struga Poetry Evenings. In 2010, the Library of Congress named Merwin the seventeenth United States Poet Laureate. Merwin resides in Hawaii, where he writes prolifically and is dedicated to the restoration of the islands’ rainforests.


Writing for Peace News:

All during the month of February, Writing for Peace is commemorating the Tenth Anniversary of Poets Against the War with a Daily PAW Post. If you are interested in arranging a reading this month in honor of Poets Against the War, please contact us with the details at, and we will be happy to share your information on our site.

2013 Young Writers Contest

The Writing for Peace Young Writers Contest is in full swing, with entries coming in from all over the globe.  The contest is open to writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, for ages 13 to 19. Contest deadline is March 1st, 2013. Spread the word to young writers everywhere! You’ll find contest guidelines here.

DoveTales,  An International Journal of the Arts

The first issue of DoveTales will be released this month, featuring poets, writers, artists and photographers from all over the world.  We are also looking forward to seeing the winners of our 2012 Young Writers Contest in print. Watch our posts for news of the journal’s release. The new submission guidelines will go up on March 1st. Thank you for your support!



Copyright © 2013 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *