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Introduction & Overview of Horizons of Rooms by W. S. Merwin

This Study Guide consists of approximately 37 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Horizons of Rooms.
This section contains 294 words
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Horizons of Rooms Summary & Study Guide Description

Horizons of Rooms Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading on Horizons of Rooms by W. S. Merwin.


"The Horizons of Rooms," from W. S. Merwin's 1988 collection The Rain In the Trees, published in New York City, is a solid example of the late style of one of the twentieth century's most influential poets. Merwin's work began in his postcollege years in the 1950s with a strong, intellectual mastery of the classical poetic forms. By the time of his 1967 collection, The Lice, he had developed a unique voice: terse and angry, the poems in this collection did without punctuation, as if what they had to say was too overwhelmingly personal for the writer to bother with conventions of grammar. The Lice was Merwin's best-known book, with over a dozen reprintings, leading a generation of poets in the late 1960s and early 1970s to copy his style to express their own social concerns. Merwin's later poetry shifted its focus toward the destruction of the environment and began showing more and more rumination on history, especially natural history. These subjects are explored in "The Horizons of Rooms."

This poem reflects on the way humanity has come to accept the concept of "rooms" as a defining part of existence, blocking out any sense of nature in the process. It reminds readers that rooms have actually been in existence for just a small fraction of the large scope of world history and gives an example of how making a room in a cave allowed for survival in prehistoric times. The problem, as Merwin presents it, is that people no longer see nature for what it is, only that it is outside of rooms, making even the widest open places just an interlude between one room and another. "Many have forgotten the sky," the poem tells readers, and the problem is getting worse every day.

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This section contains 294 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Horizons of Rooms Study Guide
Horizons of Rooms from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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