Maui poet wins second Pulitzer Prize


POSTED: Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Maui resident William S. Merwin has won another Pulitzer Prize in poetry, this time for his recent collection titled “;The Shadow of Sirius.”;

Merwin, whose writing career can be traced to the hymns he wrote as a child, won his first Pulitzer in 1971 for “;The Carrier of Ladders.”;

The prize judges described the “;The Shadow of Sirius,”; published in September by Copper Canyon Press, as “;a collection of luminous, often tender poems that focus on the profound power of memory.”;

Merwin, 81, praised Copper Canyon's focus on poetry. “;I liked the way Copper Canyon approached the whole thing,”; he said from his home in Hawaii. “;Their emphasis is entirely poetry. If you're with one of the big publishing houses, the books are beautiful but it's not their main thing.”;

Merwin was fond of a red chow dog that lived at the family's home in Peahi and died some years ago — so much so that he asked for a copy of a photograph of it with him that was taken by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.


Gary T. Kubota, Star-Bulletin, and the Associated Press




'Dream of Koa Returning'


        An excerpt from W.S. Merwin's poem about the loss of a beloved pet, taken from the Pulitzer-winning collection “;The Shadow of Sirius”;:

I looked out to the river
        flowing beyond the big trees
        and all at once you
        were just behind me ...
        ... and I wondered whether
        it might be a dream
        whether you might be a dream
        whether we both were a dream
        in which neither of us moved