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James Merrill: Selected Poems 1946-1985
'It is a testament to the breadth of James Merrill's influence that one can, without ruffling too many feathers, declare him the greatest living American poet. Few writers approach his exquisite knowledge of the English language, its beauty and oddity-he breathes vigor into our most common words-and even fewer have managed to combine a sense of elegance with the momentous ...more
Hardcover, 339 pages
Published April 28th 1992 by Knopf
(first published 1992)
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I've had this for years and read portions of it. Over this Christmas I pulled it down and read through more of it more intently. I love how with books of poetry in particular you can go back to them year after year and they just sink and land deeper, more resonant. THat was certainly true for this. Some of the poems are just crystalline. A particularly sharp and lucid writer: sometimes poignant, often a bit...emotionally absent. Though when the emotion pokes through the pellucid descriptions, it ...more
James Ingram Merrill was born on March 3, 1926, and died on February 6, 1995. From the mid-1950s on, he lived in Stonington, Connecticut, and for extended periods he also had houses in Athens and Key West. From The Black Swan (1946) through A Scattering of Salts (1995), he wrote twelve books of poems, ten of them published in trade editions, as well as The Changing Light at Sandover (1982). He als ...moreMore about James Merrill...