This Composite Voice: The Role of W.B. Yeats in James Merrill's Poetry


Readers of James Merrill's poetry have long noted affinities and contrasts between Merrill and Yeats. This Composite Voice is the first in-depth examination of the extensive history and particularly vexed nature of this lifelong poetic relationship. It draws on little-known biographical material, uncollected poems, manuscript variants, and annotations found in Merrill's copies of Yeats poems, essays, and A Vision , as well as a close examination of Merrill's better-known writing, to establish the many ways in which Merrill contends with the older poet's haunting personality and poetic accomplishment.

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