Walking Toward the Sun

Edward Weismiller; Foreword by W. S. Merwin

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April 10, 2002
80 pages, 6 x 9 1/4
ISBN: 9780300183078
Paper

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In 1936, twenty-year-old Edward Weismiller became the youngest poet to win the prestigious Yale Series of Younger Poets prize. Today, more than sixty years later, he retains that distinction. Yale University Press here reintroduces Edward Weismiller—now the oldest living Younger Poet—with the publication of his latest book of poetry. Weismiller’s is “a talent that has kept faith with itself and its sources,” says W. S. Merwin, current judge of the Younger Poets Series.

In Walking Toward the Sun, youthful lyricism has given way to plainness of speech—even spareness. These poems are honest and unflinching, always striking in their prosody. They will remind some readers of Yeats, for they convey nobility in the face of old age, infirmity, and disappointment. Weismiller sings powerfully about a world of loss, but he is never grim or despairing. The poet in old age remains hopeful, open to possibility, and always aware of beauty in the smallest places.


Edward Weismiller is professor emeritus of English, George Washington University. His previous volumes of poetry are The Deer Come Down, published by Yale University Press, The Faultless Shore, and The Branch of Fire. He is also the author of a classic espionage novel, The Serpent Sleeping. Among the numerous awards he has received is the 2001 Robert Fitzgerald Award for lifetime contribution to the study of metrics and versification.

There, in the sun, spring’s youngest flower,
without memory and without dreams,
smiles on the calm of unrelated stone.

“There is an entire life behind these poems.”—W. S. Merwin


"Edward Weismiller’s first book in over twenty years has been well worth waiting for: his immense skill and exquisite sensibility were always there, but they now serve a splendid autumnal power, a meditative irony with a dark but undulled edge."—John Hollander

“Wonderful and original. Weismiller’s ear and intelligence are distinctive.”—Robert Pinsky

“Edward Weismiller is a poet who can give us ampleness of meaning and depth of suggestion in a few plain words.”—Richard Wilbur