Review: The Book of Fables, W.S. Merwin

If you read for escape and with not a lot of time to sink into a long work, then Merwin’s The Book of Fables is the place to go. It’s like a gated play yard for the imagination to spend its recess time. You can climb on a spinning yarn and be dazzled as the landscape whirls by, or you can go through the ups and downs of a see-saw ride, or pick up a question from a grassy expanse, roll it in your hand, and set it back down with some of W.S. Merwin’s insights rubbed off to your palms. His fables run from a sentence or two, to a bare quarter page, to as long as perhaps a dozen pages. I have not read a single one so far that didn’t provide the brief escape that I needed in the moment from the everyday humdrum. Merwin has a wondrous imagaination and way with the written word; I only wish he had been recommended to me earlier.

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