James Merrill Poems
- The Broken Home Crossing the street, I saw the parents and ...
- Voices From The Other World Presently at our touch the teacup...
- An Urban Convalescence Out for a walk, after a week in bed, ...
- Another April The panes flash, tremble with your ghostly ...
- The Puzzle Is No Puzzle A card table in the library stands ...
- Log Then when the flame forked like a sudden path I gasped ...
- A Mysterious Epigraph These days which, like yourself, Seem...
James Ingram Merrill was an American poet whose awards include the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1977) for Divine Comedies. His poetry falls into two distinct bodies of work: the polished and formalist (if deeply emotional) lyric poetry of his early career, and the epic narrative of occult communication with spirits and angels, titled The Changing Light at Sandover, which dominated his later career. Although most of his published work was poetry, he also wrote essays, fiction, and plays.
James Ingram Merrill was born in New York City to Hellen Ingram Merrill and Charles E. Merrill, founding partner of the Merrill Lynch investment firm. He had two older half siblings ... more »
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The Broken Home
Crossing the street,
I saw the parents and the child
At their window, gleaming like fruit
With evening’s mild gold leaf.
In a room on the floor below,
Sunless, cooler—a brimming
Saucer of wax, marbly and dim—
I have lit what’s left of my life.
I have thrown out yesterday’s milk
And opened a book of maxims.
The flame quickens. The word stirs.
Tell me, tongue of fire,
That you and I are as real
At least as the people upstairs.
My father, who had flown in World War I,
Might have continued to invest his life
In cloud banks well ...