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James Merrill : Selected Poems
by James Merrill and J. D. McClatchy and Stephen Yenser


Overview - James Merrill himself once called his body of work -chronicles of love and loss, - and in twenty books written over four decades he used the details of his own life--comic and haunting, exotic and domestic--to shape a portrait that in turn mirrored the image of our world and our moment.  Read more...

 
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More About James Merrill by James Merrill; J. D. McClatchy; Stephen Yenser
 
 
 
Overview
James Merrill himself once called his body of work -chronicles of love and loss, - and in twenty books written over four decades he used the details of his own life--comic and haunting, exotic and domestic--to shape a portrait that in turn mirrored the image of our world and our moment. This volume brings together the best of Merrill--from the domestic rupture of -The Broken Home- to the universal connections of -Lost in Translation-; from the American storyteller of -The Summer People- to the ecologically motivated satirist of -Self-Portrait in a TyvekTM Windbreaker.- Merrill dazzles at every turn, and this balanced and compact selection will be an ideal introduction to the work for both students and general readers, and an instant favorite among his familiars.

Log
Then when the flame forked like a sudden path
I gasped and stumbled, and was less.
Density pulsing upward, gauze of ash,
Dear light along the way to nothingness,
What could be made of you but light, and this?

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780375711664
  • ISBN-10: 037571166X
  • Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
  • Publish Date: October 2008
  • Page Count: 298
  • Dimensions: 9.08 x 6.98 x 1.02 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.22 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Poetry > American - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 45.
  • Review Date: 2008-09-15
  • Reviewer: Staff

A virtuoso of rhyming form, a master of puns and a subtle verse autobiographer, Merrill (1926–1995) got attacked during his lifetime as too fancy or artful. He is now generally considered one of his generation’s greats. Readers prize his gemlike early lyrics; his autobiographical poems of friendship, illness, privilege (his father cofounded Merrill Lynch), travel (Greece, New England, Florida) and same-sex love; his science-fictional epic The Changing Light at Sandover (written with help from a Ouija board); and the rueful, reflective, sometimes very funny poems of his last years, from “Rhapsody on Czech Themes” to “b o d y” (“Looked at too long, words fail,/ phase out”). Some readers thought his final poems his best, though they were necessarily omitted from his previous Selected, compiled before they were written. Also here are slices of Sandover, and the classics from the 1960s and 1970s. These include “An Urban Convalescence,” in which Merrill muses on his New York City block and on the renovation—or is it destruction—of modern language; fine sonnets such as “Marsyas”; and trick-ending stories in verse, such as “Chimes for Yahya.” This rigorous cull seems designed for new readers (or students). Those who don’t want to spring for the heavy Collected Poems will also want to see what this book holds. (Oct.)

 
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