Industrial Deals GG Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon Adele egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Beauty Deals Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer minions minions minions  Amazon Echo Starting at $84.99 Kindle Black Friday Deals Shop Now HTL

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $7.99
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Collected Poems Hardcover – February 27, 2001

8 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
$50.27 $14.39
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Lauded at his death as a major American writer, a great poet of sociability and comedy, an important part of the gay literary tradition and a master of traditional forms, Merrill (1926-1995) is well-served by this monumental gathering off his shorter poems, carefully edited and likely to garner major attention and sales. McClatchy (Twenty Questions, etc.) is Merrill's literary executor, and Yenser the author of a Merrill monograph. They include Merrill's 11 trade volumes; poems from two small-press books, The Black Swan (1946) and The Yellow Pages (1974); 21 verse translations; and 45 poems retrieved from periodicals and manuscripts. Excluded are some juvenilia and light verse, as well as Merrill's book-length poem The Changing Light at Sandover, in print as a separate volume. Merrill's sonnets, sapphics, longer sequences and sinuous sentences encompass lyric pathos, ebullient comedy, rapt romance and acrid satire. Their formal sophistication can belie their depth of feeling, which is exactly what some readers love best about Merrill's work. New readers ought to skip the often-dry earliest books, begin with Merrill's 1960s works and read forward. Confirmed fans will no doubt flip to the end of the book, where they will encounter many poems for the first time--most are short and witty, many of them are fine. The poems from Merrill's last year can be arresting, including a self-elegy in which the dying poet thinks of himself as a Christmas tree. (Mar.) Forecast: Huge, career-summing reviews of this book are already in production at various typewriters and computers along the eastern seaboard. The story of Merrill's personal fortune has always made good copy, and revelations of the poet's death by AIDS in Alison Lurie's Familiar Spirits: A Memoir of James Merrill and David Jackson (Viking), also due in March, should bring less-than-regular readers of poetry to the book via respectful items in glossies. Libraries of all stripes will also certainly acquire the book, which could show up on some bestseller lists.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Merrill's readers know that he was an exceptional poet in voice, vision, range, and fluency. The winner of many awards, including a Pulitzer Prize, the Bollingen Prize for Poetry, and two National Book Awards, Merrill (1926-95) was gloriously prolific, as the editors of this bountiful collection, J. D. McClatchy and Stephen Yenser, attest. Here are all the poems, including translations, from 11 volumes (except for the epic The Changing Light at Sandover), as well as previously uncollected and unpublished works. There is much to absorb, mull over, and enjoy sensuously and intellectually. And it's profoundly moving to witness Merrill's evolution from the young author of The Black Swan (1946), drenched in yet wary of tradition, to the increasingly confident poet of the later books, who matched intensity with merriment and contrasted scenes from a life of privilege with a somber sense of history and loss. Like Stevens and Auden, Merrill was at once formal and conversational, lyric and narrative, and enlightened by the smallest of objects, a Willowware cup for instance, and the grandest: the sea, death, light. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 885 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1st edition (February 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375411399
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375411397
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #533,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 8 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By C. Dale Young on March 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
James Merrill stands in the poetry canon among the best of the 20th Century, and this volume reminds us why. Merrill is our poet of formal grace and biting wit, and the apparent effortlessness with which he wrote his poems (whether truly without much effort or not) is daunting, especially for those sitting in front of the paper trying to draft verse themselves. His work, like Elizabeth Bishop's, is quiet and, many times because of the silences, disturbing in the ways in which they question the sensibilities of vision and the interpretations we make of the natural and emotional worlds. One sees almost the entire range of Merrill's work in this collection, and one sees a mind of immense intelligence at play. One can teach a person to write verse, but Merrill reminds us we cannot teach someone how to see and re-write the world. This is a poetry of tremendous beauty and incredible doubt. No collection of poetry, or Literature in general, should be without it.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Stephen McLeod on April 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
James Merrill was the greatest American poet of his generation, and while he was alive, one of the most important poets writing in English. This collection presents just about every poem that Merrill finished, apart from the long poem, *The Changing Light at Sandover* (the "ouija board poem"). That means that there are about 44 poems in here that no one's ever seen, plus uncollected poems from Merrill's first volume and the complete text of a 1974 collection called *The Yellow Pages*, which would be REALLY hard to get elsewhere.

Merrill was a virtuoso from the start, but his early poems - mostly from the first book - are, more often than not, somewhat too too, if you know what I mean. Still, they are better made than anyone else's first poems, and some of them are fine. They are show-pieces of a big prodigious boy.

Starting with some poems in *The Country of a Thousand Years of Peace* and more in *Water Street*, Merrill started to make some of the finest lyric poems in modern English. After *Nights and Days* (1966), Merrill was unrivalled.

There is no poem in this volume that is not worth the time and the effort. All of the great poems are here, such as "The Broken Home", "Days of 1964" and "Lost in Translation" and everything in the great valedictory performance, *A Scattering of Salts* . But, sometimes Merrill is at his most sublime in miniature lyrics such as "A Downward Look," and "Little Fallacy."

Even if you already own the *Selected Poems* or *From the First Nine*, you still need this. It's expensive but it will pay you back for the rest of your life. Find the money and buy this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By spoonyj on December 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Merrill doesn't need another admirer, but my gratitude compels me to write. This volume is further proof that the gulf between great poetry and all the mediocre stuff is immense. Genius exists--and Merrill has it in abundance. Mastery of craft, breadth of vision, depth of emotion, intensity of intellect--Merrill's work reveals all the hallmarks of greatness. An extraordinary and generous accomplishment. I will read this book as long as I'm alive.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
26 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Arch Llewellyn on June 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Weighing in at almost 900 pages, this book holds just about all the Merrill you'll ever need outside of "Sandover." Merrill wrote exactly the kind of poems I used to think of as "real" poetry--stately, measured, clever & bittersweet, with lots of exquisite images to savor along the way. So why does this writing feel so stuffy and distant to me now? Reading a Merrill poem is somewhere between doing a crossword and shopping for antiques--you exercise the brain and always find something curious to enjoy, but even the most intimate ones left me strangely unmoved. I know Merrill has a legion of fans, and I can see why--these poems are among the best of their kind. But somehow they reminded me of the good chairs in my mom's living room--you could admire them, but you couldn't sit down. Still, the editors have done an excellent job and you'll enjoy going through this handsome book to make up your own mind.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: collected poems hardcover