Merrill's poetry is split into two different bodies: the first, emotional lyric poetry; the second, occult-themed verse, as explored in The Changing Light at Sandover. The blurb on the dust jacket flap of Collected Poems calls him "one of the supreme love poets of the twentieth century."
"Orchards, we linger here because
Women we love stand propped in your green prisons,
Obedient to such justly bending laws
Each one longs to take root,
Lives to confess whatever seasons's
Pride of blossom or endeavor's fruit
May to her rustling boughs have risen."
--"Upon a Second Marriage"
Collection Poems spans his earliest poems to A Scattering of Salts, the last volume of poetry published before his death from complications of AIDS in 1995. Collected Novels and Plays is just what it says.
Both books will make for a handsome addition to your friend's or loved one's poetry library. Collected Poems is bound in black cloth, with lilac endpapers and a silk, lilac bookmark ribbon. Collected Novels and Plays is bound in plum-colored cloth, with yellow endpapers and a yellow bookmark ribbon. Both come with dust jackets.
If you're running out of Christmas ideas, many of the featured books on this blog are still available. (If you scroll back through previous entries, ones that are sold have been crossed out.) Many of the featured books on this blog are inexpensive. And all, of course, are fabulous. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in a specific title, or drop by the store from 10 to 6 p.m. up until Friday, Christmas Eve, when we're open until 3 o'clock only. Kathleen and Sarah (me) are armed with suggestions for gifts, so you have nothing to lose. Come on by!