Merwin touches the universal with specifics. Merwin's book bears a simplicity lacking in much of what we do today. His word choice in these poems rarely indicates they were written in the 1970's, but the style is poignantly modern nonetheless. As subjects, Merwin takes nature, aging and friendships. He peppers these with haunting feelings of hollowness, biblical allusions, and the occasional phrase that I cannot reconcile to the poems containing it. With Merwin, though, I remains content and know that a little ambiguity at the edges will keep me returning to the poem year after year.