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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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. In a shimmering interplay of sandiver forms, Merrill set down their extended conversations with their familiar and guide, Ephraim a first-century Greek JewW.
Yeats, Plato, a brilliant peacock named Mirabell, and other old friends who had passed to the other side. Hardcoverpages. Published February 14th by Knopf first published January 1st To merrrill what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about The Changing Light at Sandoverplease sign up. What poetry do you recommend? I see you like a lot. See 1 question about The Changing Light at Sandover…. Lists with This Book. What I liked about this incredible epic poem is not so much the premise James Merrill and his real-life lover hovering over a “milk glass tabletop” using a Willoware teacup for a Ouji Board pointer as they commune with spirits in a “shoebox of a parlor” but the spectacular language and phrasing.
The Changing Light at Sandover – Wikipedia
The most gorgeous words and phrases are imbedded into a piece that is basically domestic in nature. Let us broach the matter Of the new wallpaper in Stonington. Readers i What I liked about this incredible epic poem is not so much the premise James Merrill and his real-life lover hovering over a “milk glass tabletop” using a Willoware teacup for a Ouji Board pointer as they commune with spirits in a merfill of a parlor” but the spectacular language and canging.
Readers in small towns will know the world Of interest rippling ta from such a topic, Know by their own case that “small town” is Largely a state of mind, a medium Wherein suspended, microscopic figments –Boredom, malice, curiosity– Catch a steadily more revealing light. The moods and tones evoked are lovely: View all 9 comments. Aug 22, Daniel rated it it was amazing. Oct 18, Amira Hanafi added it Shelves: Aug 26, RB rated it it was amazing.
Thw is a must own masterwork from a poet with tremendous gifts and talent an, possibly, genius – a dazzling work, possibly the single greatest achievement in poetry released in the second half of the last century that I’ve read. Mar 08, Clare added it. Oh wait, poetry too. Merrill with an Ouija board, takes dictation. Feb 09, H added it Shelves: How should you speak? Help me to drown the double-entry book I’ve kept these fifty years.
You sandlver from me Science at last, instead of tapestry– Then tell round what brass tacks the old silk frays. And they ours–whose post-mortems keep Us from if not the devil then the deep Blue silences which D and I might tend Sandpver to sink into, at tge “frontier austerities 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’s end.
L9 Out of the blue propounds that it takes all One’s skill and patience to describe, oh, say Lght chair without alluding to its use. No words like “seat” or “arm-rest”–just deduce As best one can the abstract entity. The mind on hunkers, squinting not to see, Gives up.
L5 Does thought destroy ideas? Well, our faith came to be in Feeling. To feed the earthward flow Of Paradise? Aug 24, Amy marked it as to-read Shelves: Richard Kenney suggested that I might get a kick out of this book, given my penchant for writing tarot card sonnets.
Already established in the s among the finest poets of his generation, Me Richard Kenney suggested that I might get a kick out of this book, given my penchant for writing tarot card sonnets. Already established in the s among the finest poets of his generation, Merrill made a surprising detour when he began incorporating occult messages into his work.
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”. In Merrill believed he had exhausted the inspiration provided by the ouija board. The supernatural spirits thought otherwise, however, ordering Merrill to write and publish further installments, “Mirabell: The complete three-volume work, with a brief additional coda, appeared as “The Changing Light at Sandover” in In live readings, Merrill was able to impersonate the narrating voices of deceased poet W.
Oct 20, Meghan rated it really liked it.
James Merrill’s THE CHANGING LIGHT AT SANDOVER
Admittedly, Merrill is not for everyone. His poetry is dense, cyclical, scientific, and at times deliberately aloof. Yet, this post-modern epic poem deserves to be placed alongside T. Elliot’s “The Wasteland” as one of the great long poems of the 20th century.
A poem mwrrill the form of a Ouija board, a horde of deceased characters being channeled through Merrill’s partnership with his lover, and fittingly dense ruminations on metaphysical concepts makes this daunting poem worth the read and the re Admittedly, Merrill is not for everyone.
A poem in the form of a Ouija board, a horde of deceased characters being channeled through Merrill’s partnership with his lover, and fittingly dense ruminations on metaphysical concepts makes this daunting poem worth the read and the revelations it jamew bring.
Mar 05, Luca marked it as partially-read Shelves: I slammed into a wall in the middle of this, and kind of gave up on it. I get more out of Merrill’s shorter work, without the sci-fi aspects of The Changing Light. Not that I’m particularly qualified to evaluate this magnum opus. I am no where near smart enough for this thing, but it’s so beautiful. Dec 03, Molly rated it it was amazing. I recommend this one! Mar 04, Crito rated it it was amazing Shelves: On strength of its impeccable language and atmosphere alone, The Changing Light at Sandover is worthy of all sorts of praise.
Transcripts t On strength of its impeccable language and atmosphere alone, The Changing Light at Sandover is worthy of all sorts of praise. Transcripts there are, we know Merrill did this but to what extent Merrill is taking poetic license with it is sort of a mystery that coincides with how the spirits string along James and David, playfully feeding them bits about the cchanging structure of the spirit world that may be misleading or misinformed, to be pieced together in retrospect.
The Changing Light at Sandover by James Merrill | : Books
But I think what really boated my float is the role of the artist in all this. 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.
In The Changing Light at Sandover, these figures are literally speaking through us, from lines of spiritual influence and reincarnations. Another figure of central importance in the jzmes 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.
This brought me back to when I read The Republic and awed at its ripples of influence. It is dense, and its ornate use of language can sometimes be too much. But really, if I were to recommend this it would be first and foremost on the basis that there is nothing else like it.
I have little love for epic poetry as a form but this book has converted me. James Merrill and his life-partner David Jackson spent decades at the Ouija board a kind of side-life parallel to their socializing, home-making, and travels contacting spirits and engaging in an occult odyssey through the levels of ethereal hierarchy. Merrill happened to be a formalist poet in an merirll 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.
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 other side”. At times pretty, kooky, disturbing, and revolutionary, the lessons accumulate around anxieties mortal and atomic, relationships personal and professional W. Auden features heavilyand yet the process is one of constant revision. The afterlife is crowded ghe fallibility, partisanship, and bias.
Even the divine feminine principle might not be divulging her interests with candor.
The Changing Light at Sandover contains a multitude of voices, perspectives, and motives. It allows that “evil” may not be as separate from “good” as earlier epics have relied on. In fact, its major contribution to the form is to destabilize the spiritual revelation.
In each book, what was once a revealed truth is later discarded or amended by a voice from higher up the chain of command. These are not errors but lesser understandings. The way forward is not settling into certainty but tempering for more transmission. 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. Finality, fixity, are not the comforts they purport to be.
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.
Jan 03, Donald Krieger rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: James Merrill is one of the best poets of the late 20th century. He moved to a small town on the Maine coast and began to use the ouija board in his parlor overlooking the sea, spurred on by his boyfriend. The hobby soon became an obsession and this is the epic result-a book, supposedly dictated by disembodied spirits. Merrills sense of structure and poetic imagery hold it all together, as their personal world disintegrates