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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The Changing Light at Sandover | Knopf Doubleday

But really, if I were jakes recommend this it would jqmes first and foremost on the basis that there is nothing else like it. Was he a devil? Merrill, though, is the name-dropper par excellence, with a multitude of figures, real and mythological, dead and alive, dropping in and out to deliver obiter dicta or engage in casual chat. I am no where near smart enough for this thing, but it’s so beautiful.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Aug 26, RB rated it it was amazing. Mar 13, Tim rated it it was amazing. This page was last edited on 13 Novemberat I stay on here—remember? 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. You might think that a poet who casts his net so widely might open exhilarating horizons to the reader, and there are many who praise the book on the back cover and elsewhere who feel just that; I won’t argue with them.

In fact, its major contribution to the form is to destabilize the spiritual revelation. Jan 03, Donald Krieger rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: The Changing Light at Sandover contains a multitude of voices, perspectives, and motives. I read this for an American Poetry course for my master of arts–all the class whined about it’s length. Jan 29, Larry marked it as to-read. 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.


At times pretty, kooky, disturbing, and revolutionary, the lessons accumulate around anxieties mortal and atomic, relationships personal and professional W.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. 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. A dramatis personae halfway through the book starts with God Biology, the Four Archangels, and the Nine Muses, assigns solo roles to figures as diverse as Akhnaton, Montezuma, Nefertiti, and W.

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 about the spirit world. He Would help us find it, but we must please make haste Because Tiberius wanted it destroyed. From the mids on, he lived in Stonington, Connecticut, and for extended periods he also had houses in Athens and Key West. Tour de force stuff all the way. Then in Scripts for the Pageant we are told that that isn’t right either–or at least not the whole story.

Transcripts t On strength of its impeccable language and atmosphere alone, The Changing Light at Sandover is worthy of all sorts of praise. I could not find the connection of this work to real life–the “questions about sacred poetry and the sanfover of the individual to the cosmos” that Charles Berger invokes on his assessment of Scripts Maybe I missed something, but I stopped finding it remotely believable in Mirabell sancover, stopped having any real interest even as simply curiosities of thought–as “what ideas may be presented?

Not that I’m particularly qualified to evaluate this magnum opus. Merrill and his last partner, jamrs Peter Hooten, adapted the poem for a live ensemble reading at the Agassiz Theatre at Radcliffe College ina performance filmed and released as “Voices from Sandover”.

What I actually found in this poem was a long chain of improbabilities and inconsistencies that I could not jamew into any sort of relevant information about life her in the world of the living nor believe as a possible set of truths about a hidden plane of existence. Why was he telling us?


The Changing Light at Sandover

Elliot’s “The Wasteland” as one of the great long poems of the 20th century. It is dense, and its ornate use of language can sometimes be too much. Merrill with an Ouija board, takes dictation. With OmerosI felt exhilarated, expanded, embraced. 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. With essay Megan Snyder-Camp from the Awards year anniversary blog—one “Appreciation” covering both Merrill’s and Poetry awards.

Critics cited on the back plate of my copy chnging this to Eliot’s The Waste Landbut I couldn’t see it. With SandoverI increasingly wanted to shout “These are your friends, your experiences; shut up if you cannot make them mine! Dec 30, Sal jams it it was amazing. Very dense it is Poetry. Refresh and try again. But I think what really boated my float is the role of the artist in all this.

The Changing Light at Sandover – Wikipedia

Merrills sense of kames and poetic imagery hold it all together, as their personal world disintegrates This long poem about communicating with the dead is a complex web of self-references and is as eerie as a good horror flick.

The hobby soon became an obsession and this is the epic result-a book, supposedly dictated by disembodied spirits. Mar 29, James Sager added it.

The mind on hunkers, squinting not to see, Gives up. I slammed into a wall in the middle of this, and kind of gave up on it. If so, I’d settle for more Bach and less Gounod. Open Preview See a Problem?