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Brad Leithauser, 15 October 1987

Selected Poems 
by Molly Holden.
Carcanet, 126 pp., £6.95, June 1987, 0 85635 696 4
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The Player Queen’s Wife 
by Oliver Reynolds.
Faber, 78 pp., £8.95, November 1987, 0 571 14998 7
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The Consuming Myth: The Work of James Merrill 
by Stephen Yenser.
Harvard, 367 pp., £21.95, June 1987, 0 674 16615 9
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... in the morning constellations found by my fingers mapping your back’s scatter of small moles. Stephen Yenser’s study arrives here laden with ironies and poignancies which have little to do with its merit as a piece of extended criticism. At the moment, almost none of Merrill’s books (which include a dozen volumes of poetry, two novels and a ...


Laura Quinney: James Merrill, 4 April 2002

Collected Poems 
by James Merrill, edited by J.D. McClatchy and Stephen Yenser.
Knopf, 736 pp., £35.75, February 2001, 0 375 41139 9
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... This Collected Poems is not a ‘Complete Poetry’. It omits Merrill’s trilogy of book-length poems, The Changing Light at Sandover, as well as a number of uncollected or unpublished poems. The notes are minimal. Merrill died in 1995: the editors of this volume, who are also his literary executors, apparently decided to publish a reader’s edition in short order ...

A Peacock Called Mirabell

August Kleinzahler: James Merrill, 31 March 2016

James Merrill: Life and Art 
by Langdon Hammer.
Knopf, 913 pp., £27, April 2015, 978 0 375 41333 9
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... own, he wasn’t much of a teacher, but was a delightful presence. One of his students that term, Stephen Yenser, became not only a lifelong friend but one of Merrill’s very best readers, and co-editor, with J.D. McClatchy, of an excellent though overlong 2008 Selected Poems. Reading Merrill at length can feel like being trapped in endless rooms full ...

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