A Reader's Guide to James Merrill's The Changing Light at Sandover
An invaluable road map for the epic poem of our time
James Merrill's monumental poem The Changing Light at Sandover has been acclaimed one of the masterpieces of postwar American literature. Robert Polito's reader's guide provides the critical companion piece to this now classic poem.
The Changing Light at Sandover is vast and often dizzying, as the poet and his companion at the Ouija board, David Jackson, advance to successively higher spirit guides. The poem moves, from the cosmic to the domestic, from Merrill's departed friends to the voices of history, science, and the legends of Western culture. Robert Polito has referenced names, places, ideas, hypotheses, and allusions, providing a useful and exhaustive index that makes studying the poem easier and provokes critical thought. The guide includes an introduction and afterword by Polito, as well as vital reviews and responses by other critics to Merrill's contemporary epic.
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