A collection centered in myth, A Mask for Janus is the 49th volume of the Yale Series of Younger Poets
While Merwin’s poetry as a whole is grounded in the poetic forms of many eras and societies, this first collection is inspired by classical models. Writing in American Poetry Review, Vernon Young traces the poems to “Biblical tales, Classical myth, love songs from the Age of Chivalry, Renaissance retellings; they comprise carols, roundels, odes, ballads, sestinas, and they contrive golden equivalents of emblematic models: the masque, the Zodiac, the Dance of Death.”
William Stanley Merwin is an American poet, credited with over fifty books of poetry, translation, and prose. He has received many honors, including two Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry (1971 and 2009) and the Tanning Prize, one of the highest honors bestowed by the Academy of American Poets. He served as United States Poet Laureate twice, from 1999–2000 and 2010–2011.
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