Met Merwin today

W. S. Merwin, that is.

He gave a reading at Kresge Auditorium last night which I was only able to pay partial attention to thanks to a toothache that wouldn't quit. (I'm going to the dentist on Thursday or I'm paying a bum to crack me across the jaw, one.) And he did a q & a session/colloqium as part of the Lane Lecture Series this afternoon.

He's in his 70s and he's still very sharp. I think the highlight for me came when he was discussing his meeting with Ezra Pound and Pound's advice regarding translation. Merwin noted that his work in translation greatly helped his own poetry because "you never know what language is capable of until it's pushed by an outside language." I need to relearn French and get back to my own translation work too.

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