Describing W.S. Merwin as a moral poet, H.L. Hix identifies the characteristics that have set Merwin's voice apart and suggests that an underlying vision of human interconnectedness and affinity with nature permeates his poetry. Hix surveys Merwin's oeuvre to show that despite a reputation for difficulty and obscurity, his verse is clear and direct. Through close readings of Merwin's verse, Hix traces the emergence of the poet's dominant thematic concerns. Beginning with the interest in myth that permeates ""A Mask for Janus"", Merwin's focus turns to apocalypse, ecology and society, until he arrives at one theme that incorporates all the others: the theme of place. The author demonstrates that whether writing the angry protest poems of ""The Lice"" or the intimate family reminiscences of ""Opening the Hand"", Merwin maintains that our isolation fom each other and our isolation from the natural world are parallel and interrelated.