Editorial Reviews. Review. “An astonishing performance As near to [a masterpiece] as The Changing Light at Sandover by [Merrill, James]. The Genius and Generosity of Jimmy Merrill from the December 22, of Langdon Hammer’s James Merrill: Life and Art [NYR, December 22, ]. of Merrill’s long poem The Changing Light at Sandover is indebted to. Selected Poems does excerpt The Changing Light at Sandover, presenting a sampler of a poet who wrote “New Critical Rococo” in the words of August.
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Not that I’m particularly qualified to evaluate this magnum opus.
At times pretty, kooky, disturbing, and revolutionary, the lessons accumulate around anxieties mortal and atomic, relationships personal and professional W. InMerrill published his first ouija board narrative cycle, with a poem for each of the letters A through Z, calling it “The Book of Ephraim”.
Another figure of central importance in the poem is Plato and he of course never exposed himself much in his dialogues, instead making characters of his peers to illustrate his points from behind a curtain. And they ours–whose post-mortems keep Us from if not the devil then the deep Blue silences which D and I might tend Dully to sink into, at lesson “frontier austerities Knopf a division of Random House, Inc.
Aug 01, Roger Brunyate rated it it was ok Shelves: James Merrill is one of the best poets of the late 20th century. I’ll probably reread the first section before continuing. Oh wait, poetry too. I stay on here—remember?
Was he a devil? I reviewed the Walcott recently, and liked merrjll immensely, but this one by Merrill had me first intrigued, then baffled, then alienated. He is the master of blank verse, couplets, sonnets, terza rimaand villanelle. Want to Read saving….
You want from me Ligyt at last, instead of tapestry– Then tell round what brass tacks the old silk frays. At the time he believed he had exhausted the inspiration provided by the ouija board. James Merrill and his life-partner David Jackson spent decades at the Ouija board a kind of side-life parallel to mergill socializing, home-making, and travels contacting spirits and engaging in an occult odyssey through the levels of ethereal hierarchy.
Already established in the s among the finest lyric poets of his generation, Merrill made a surprising detour by incorporating extensive occult messages into his work although a poem from changlng s, ” Voices from the Other World “, was the first to quote such “otherworldly” voices.
Where will I— This operation—does he mean I’ll die?
The Changing Light at Sandover | Knopf Doubleday
I see you like a lot. Merrill with an Ouija board, takes dictation. Auden features heavilyand yet the process is one of constant revision. Then in the Coda we are told that Ephraim–the ghost from the beginning who had it all wrong–is secretly Michael and this was all an elaborate plan to step Merrill and Jackson through the revelations slowly. With SandoverI increasingly wanted to shout “These kerrill your friends, your experiences; shut up if you cannot make them mine!
The Changing Light at Sandover
Nov 24, Tom rated it it was amazing. Toklas, Richard Wagner, W. His poetry is dense, cyclical, scientific, and at times deliberately aloof. In live readings, Merrill was able to impersonate the narrating voices of deceased poet W. Trivia About The Changing Ligh As it flowed on, his stream-of-consciousness Deepened. The most gorgeous words and phrases are imbedded into a piece that is basically domestic in nature.
He also published two plays, The Immortal Husband and The Bait ; two novels, The Seraglioreissued in and The Diblos Notebookreissued ; a book of essays, interviews, and reviews, Recitative ; and a memoir, A Different Person May 06, Aran rated it it was amazing Shelves: In plain life we might think back on those that influenced us, great writers or artists, and think of them as subtly guiding our pen.
The complete three-volume work, with a brief additional coda, appeared as “The Changing Light at Sandover” in Merrill’s verse was smooth and elegantly crafted–although decidedly lacking in moments of astonishing brilliance–from beginning to end; I couldn’t detect a metrical misstep or moment that was not expressed precisely in the entire massive work.
In a shimmering interplay of verse forms, Merrill set down their extended conversations with their familiar and guide, Ephraim a first-century Greek JewW. In The Changing Light at Sandover, these figures are literally speaking through us, from lines of spiritual influence and reincarnations. Over the years, he was the winner of numerous awards for his poetry, including two National Book Awards, the Bollingen Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, and the first Bobbitt Prize from the Library of Congress.