We have decided to begin tweeting and posting some of Merwin’s lines. Having navigated the complex terrain of permissions and Fair Use, it is important that we do it correctly. Different publishers have different expectations. For the time being, we are only tweeting lines from books published by Copper Canyon Press. Here is their statement regarding posting Merwin in online spaces:
We encourage certain personal uses—such the “Share This Poem” feature on our website or posting a stanza or two on your blog or Facebook page. These uses do not require specific permission or payment. We do ask that the use be appropriately acknowledged by including the poem title, authors name, and a link to the book, preferably to the listing on www.coppercanyonpress.org.
When we tweet one or two lines, we won’t have the space to provide the link back to the listing on their website. However, when we post something slightly longer on Facebook, we will. We will never post an entire poem or even an entire stanza.
As we post and tweet, we hope readers will ask, “What, for Merwin, constitutes a line of poetry?”–and “How has Merwin’s poetics of a line evolved to what it is today?”
In the interview with Folsom and Nelson, Merwin has said it is a “unit of something” (60); and in the interview with Thompson and Weinert, he has said it is a “unit of energy” (117). Both interviews delve more deeply into the questions surrounding a line. We hope the tweets and posts give readers some space to explore the questions as well.
Merwin, W. S., Ed Folsom, and Cary Nelson. “‘Fact Has Two Faces’: An Interview with W. S. Merwin.” The Iowa Review 13.1 (1982): 30–66. Print.
Merwin, W. S., Jeanie Thompson and Jonathan Weinert. “Raw Shore of Paradise: A Conversation with W. S. Merwin.” Until Everything Is Continuous Again: American Poets on the Recent Work of W.S. Merwin. Ed. Jonathan Weinert and Kevin Prufer. Seattle: WordFarm, 2012. 113–127. Print.
All this work by Aaron Moe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at http://merwinstudies.com.