Student News

HEADlines: Poet Laureate W. S. Merwin at Deerfield

Curtis, Margarita – September 21, 2011

The English Department has been hard at work preparing for our Academy Event this fall:  a full-day visit by Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin on October 12th.  In June, all faculty received copies of THE RAIN IN THE TREES, a collection of Merwin’s poetry, and I enjoyed reading one of his poems practically every day this summer. 

Last Friday, a few English classes focused on his poem, “Lucky Day”:

Lucky Day
the first note
out of the dark
sleeping valley
comes from the thrush
still not sure
he is really himself
but then yes
there he comes tumbling
up after himself
singing a new song

hearing him I
say to myself
if you read anything today
read it the way
a child does
hear it that way
remember for the first time

W.S. Merwin            

After the classes, a teacher approached me outside the Arms Building to share one student’s response to the poem.  This young woman, a senior, remarked on the value of “living in constant surprise”, just the way a child finds delight in new experiences.

That suggestion resonates with me as well.  As the new year begins, and I look at the excitement and energy our students bring to us every fall, I am reminded that it is precisely this sense of discovery and possibility that makes new beginnings at Deerfield so evocative.  We relish the opportunity to learn from one another, and “to live in constant surprise.”