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. …
Materer, Timothy. "James Merrill". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 February 2005; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=3091, accessed 28 April 2015.]