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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Each book of the poem is a distinct series of sessions with progressively “higher” spirits, full of supposedly meaningful and astonishing revelations of great import jamess the spirit world. In a shimmering interplay of verse forms, Merrill set down their extended conversations with their familiar and guide, Ephraim a first-century Greek JewW.

The moods and tones evoked are lovely: Merrill’s craft just garners this three stars given its lack of brilliant moments but the content problems and my inability to pull any scrap of large thematic meaning out of the work which could very well be me, and not a lack in the poem kept it from going any higher from the instant I began Mirabell.

In each book, what was once a revealed truth is later discarded or amended by a voice from higher up the chain of command. Merrill published his first ouija board narrative cycle inwith a poem for each ag the letters A through Z, calling it The Book of Ephraim.


The Changing Light at Sandover – Wikipedia

Very dense it is Poetry. And while many would think the hierarchical, socially complex, shaded afterlife of Changing Light to be hellish, it is less oppressive than the schema of other systems whether derived from monotheisms, Dante, Milton, or Yeats. Languages Latina Edit links. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

These are not errors but lesser understandings.

I am no where near smart enough for this thing, but it’s so beautiful. His poetry is dense, cyclical, scientific, and at times deliberately aloof.


Dec 30, Sal rated it it was amazing. Mar 04, Crito rated it it was amazing Shelves: Admittedly, Merrill is not for everyone. Toklas, Richard Wagner, W.

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Refresh and try again. Mar 05, Luca marked it as partially-read Shelves: Lists with This Book. But only middling lab-soul-type souls are there. Merrill happened to be a formalist poet in an age when formalism had waned samdover his gifts are particularly well-suited to the materials presented by his contacts on “the other side”.

You want from me Science at last, instead of tapestry– Then tell round what brass tacks the old silk frays. Mar 29, James Sager added it.

Help me to drown the double-entry book I’ve kept these fifty years. Views Read Edit View history. So many voluminous verse cosmologies, so little time. Merrill happened to be a formalist poet in an age when formalism had waned but his gifts are particularly well-suited to the materials presented by his contacts on “the I have little love for epic poetry as a form but this book has converted me.


This brought me back to when I read The Republic and awed at its ripples of influence.

Where will I— This operation—does he mean I’ll die? Formal innovations aside, taking this journey with Merrill and Jackson, and their friends on the other side, has lightened the twin burdens of mortality and meaning.

Jan 16, Terence Manleigh rated it it was amazing Shelves: The way forward is not settling into certainty but tempering for more transmission. Critics cited on the back plate of my copy compare this to Eliot’s The Waste Landbut I couldn’t see it. James Ingram Merrill was born on March 3,and died on February 6, I’ve finished the first Book. Merrill can jaames disarmingly simple or brilliantly complex. The entire book is based on sessions conducted by Merrill and his longtime companion David Jackson using a Ouija board, the messages from which appear, misspellings, abbreviations, and all, in block capitals.