By James Merrill
Following the commonly celebrated Collected Poems, this moment quantity within the sequence of James Merrill's works brings us Merrill as novelist and playwright. simply as in his poems we stumble upon prose items, dramatic discussion, or even a brief play in verse, in his novels and performs we discover the rhythms of his poetry mirrored and given new form.Merrill's first novel, The Seraglio, is a bold roman à clef derived largely from his formative years because the cosmopolitan son of Charles Merrill, certainly one of America's most famed twentieth-century financiers. Written in a hugely subtle prose that owes anything to Henry James, the e-book is a compelling portrait of the luxurious and treachery swirling round the Southampton seashore condominium of an irrepressible relatives patriarch, together with his many mistresses and ex-mistresses in attendance, instructed from the viewpoint of his energetic yet afflicted son. on the different finish of the narrative spectrum we discover The (Diblos) Notebook,...
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Extra resources for Collected Novels and Plays
It isn’t beauty, its second name (paper) third, or fourth : pinkish underskin scored with short parallels, like prayer is made to know order or a God . 40 not present at the creation of longing. Tearing back the bark you made there a ﬁre to heat the sentence until meaning relented, ash . the syntax, ash the ﬁfth you lent it, which is metaphor which is nomenclature, bark backward curling as if you knew words from . damage. If only it had been real ﬁre you stole from the dictionary of agony : of ﬁve kinds the sixth is not knowing the diﬀerence— 41 The Word from His Mouth, It Is Perfect as when afterward blood returns its stir to the ear though his salt still haunts the mouth it is said God spoke to matter during creation what was asked of it and what sound came after what remains remembered in ﬂesh of such speech is it longing is the birch its shape curled bark a presentiment of pain its whiteness is it that of skin vacant as the place he’d taken among ﬁddleheads 42 surely alone is the reliquary I take to the river’s ruined mill the town bell tolling eleven is the bones I keep behind words’ closed carved doors if matter is the ﬁrst martyr there is nowhere left to go hear me my way alone I bequeath to the compass each step hedged between hours I leave a lily carried for the marriage of what turns away 43 Long after Hopkins Nothing at dusk, lord, but dust and road to keep it.
Gelid nebulae of frogs’ eggs. 51 Ash, birch, beech, pine. Among them, understory where ferns forest the ﬂoor in miniature. Seeds reel down from a supreme unraveling. Upwards, fungus terraces the trunks; lichen further whitens blanch; the path doesn’t end here, disperses where forked inﬁnitely. Lent to the lingering shapes of trees, death lives an other kind of life. 52 Errant : Reply. You are here now infernal beneath the meadow’s far hem : do you want it to go on, this life a screed of signs, this struggle under the slumber of everything : you have tunneled this far : there is, isn’t there, a language entirely wakeful, you ask : because all you left behind has dreamt of it 53 As being is to begin.
31 iii. “Netted Chain” is an organic syntax. Is one kind of sentence— . — . “Venus” is another. And . 32 iv. “Fragile”—rhizomic spreading beneath—you lay down; . “Male” ﬁddleheads furred and pale— . it wasn’t long before— 33 v. pinnate— . penetrate. 34 vi. Eventually you found yourself on the page : “index . of anatomy”—see : venation—how there’s a language describing entirely : . tongue—see : how willingly you brought your body to him . 35 vii. (see also : “Hart’s Tongue”)— . 36 viii. how there’s a method entirely the end of love : how willingly .