James Merrill

(2637 words)
  • Timothy Materer (University of Missouri)

With the publication of his Collected Poems in 2001, James Merrill was established as one of the major poets of the mid-twentieth century along with poets such as Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, John Berryman, Sylvia Plath, John Ashbery and Adrienne Rich. As Helen Vendler observed in 1972, Merrill is a poet who makes one feel that he is “writing down our century”. Reviewers of Collected Poems praised his technical mastery, calling him a “miraculous mandarin”, a “Mozartian” love poet, and so richly gifted that he seemed “extraterrestrial”. His more than fifty years of creativity showed that Merrill was not only a master of poetic forms but also an engaging autobiographical poet. …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Citation:
Materer, Timothy. "James Merrill". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 February 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=3091, accessed 27 November 2014.]


Related Groups

  1. Queer (GLBT) Literature