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if you re looking for a book length poem, in formal verse, written with the aid of a ouija boardI recommend this one frontier austerities from Mirabell How should you speak Speak without metaphor.Help me to drown the double entry bookI ve kept these fifty years You want from meScience at last, instead of tapestry Then tell round what brass tacks the old silk frays 1.6As every unloved child would like to think,We re after all these grown ups only linkWith life And they ours whose post mortems keepUs from if not the devil then the deepBlue silences which D and I might tendDully to sink into, at lesson frontier austerities from Mirabell How should you speak Speak without metaphor.Help me to drown the double entry bookI ve kept these fifty years You want from meScience at last, instead of tapestry Then tell round what brass tacks the old silk frays 1.6As every unloved child would like to think,We re after all these grown ups only linkWith life And they ours whose post mortems keepUs from if not the devil then the deepBlue silences which D and I might tendDully to sink into, at lesson s end 2.3Maman, why so secretive I PREFERREDEFFECTS UNSTUDIED INDEED SCARCELY HEARDAS ONCE WHEN 3 COINCIDENTAL SOUNDSA WIND BELL IN THE GARDEN A DOOR CHIME THE HIGH CRY OF A SEAGULL MADE ONE FLEETINGTONIC CHORD IS NOT MUSIC LIKE TIMERETOLD LIKE THE NO ACCIDENT MOTIFA WAY OF TELLING THAT INSPIRES BELIEF 6.1MAN PLAYS A TUNE IN COLORS THE VIBRATIONS OF MUSICLIGHT UP MACHINES SIMPLER YET, WRITE AZURE THE LANGUAGE CONDUCTING BRAIN IS FLOODED WITH A TONE OF SUMMER SKIES.THE PAINTER S PIGMENTS ARE BLANKLY SEEN THEY CONTAIN NO LIGHT.ARE NOT PAINTINGS BLANK IN A DARK ROOM EVEN THE LIVEWHITE LIGHT SHED UPON THEM APPEARS BUT TO DIM THEM FURTHER 6.6AS FOR M HELL, IT IS HERE IS BOUNDLESS YET ITS VERSIONSIN HOMER DANTE WERE NEEDED UNDERGROUND SHELTERS FROM LIGHT BY DULL ANIMALISTIC LIVES FOR WHOM TRUTH TOOSTRONGLY SHONE THE ENLIGHTENED ARE JUST THAT FREE OF THE HELLSTHAT ON EARTH DAMN ALL OF U AT MOMENTS SOME FLEETINGLYOTHERS INCESSANTLY DOUBT IS YR HELL JM AS YOURSDJ IS FEAR HELL IS THE CAVE OF PSYCHE HARKS BACK THIS WAS THE FIRST HELL TO KNOW THAT EVEN IN EDEN WAS DANGER 9.4from Scripts for the PageantFOR INNOCENCE IS OUR NATUREAND WE INNOCENTLY THINK IT FOR THE BEST.WE COME MUCH AS FLOWERS CUT FROM THE STEM BELIEVEIN THE BLOOM TO FOLLOW Yes.L3AH THE MACHINE, SENIOR POET, THE MACHINE, YOUNG SCRIBE, THE MACHINE OF THE MIND DRIVEN BY WORDS TO MINE MEANING MAKE SENSE OF IT Y.L6TOO SIMPLIFIED, BUT THESEWERE MERELY PSYCHES, PERSONALITIES,THE UPPER CRUST OF A MILLEFEUILLES LAYER BY LAYER,HABITS LOVES LIFETIMES, PEELED AWAYFROM EPIDERMS OF HUMAN MEMORY Y.L9Out of the blue propounds that it takes allOne s skill and patience to describe, oh, sayA chair without alluding to its use.No words like seat or arm rest just deduceAs best one can the abstract entity.The mind on hunkers, squinting not to see,Gives upL4DOCTOR, SURELY YOU RECALL THE FIRST LAW OF PHYSICS MOTION KNOWS ONLY RESISTANCEFOR IN DUALITY IS DIMENSION, TENSION, ALL THE TRUE GRANDEUR WANTING IN A PERFECT THING DEATH IS THAT RESISTANT FORCE DEFINING THE FORWARD MOTION OF LIFEL5Does thought destroy ideas WHAT ELSE Well, our faith came to be in Feeling.Feelings for one another, love, trust, need,Daily harrowing the mini hellsThey breed DON T TALK TO YR MAMAN OF FEELINGSTOO FEW WERE STARS TOO MANY WERE BLACK HOLES JM Why born To feed the earthward flowOf Paradise.Last Word on NumberStrange how the energies of the Five so farResist exhaustion THEY ARE OF THE LABENFANTS, MOVE TOO GLADLY FROM LIFE TO LIFETO HARDEN INTO IDOLS NO IVORYEINSTEINS OR MOZARTS ON A CRUCIFIX.NEITHER MUST THEY RECRUIT BY JUGGLERS TRICKSVAST FOLLOWINGS FROM THE BUREAUCRACY No.L2AND NOW AS MAN MULTIPLIES, GETS CLEVERER WITH HIS TOOLS, CONTRIVING NEARLY PERFECT SUBSTITUTES FOR GOD S NATURAL POWERS,GOD NEEDS MORE MORE COMPLEX CONTACT WITH HIS CHILD, THAT EACH MAY KNOW THE OTHER S GOOD WILL N.L6YES, MAN ALONEMUST UNDERSTAND THAT VANISHED MARBLE TREADGIVES WAY IN TIME TO THE STEEP SOLITARYPATH OF MIND N.Sermon at Ephesusfrom CodaSTRANGE PERSONALITY I SHOULDHAVE THOUGHT THE CALLUS OF THE SOUL NOT TRUE.A CERTAIN STRIDENCY MAY BE OUTGROWNSAY IN LISZT, BUT HIS ESSENTIAL HOKUM GALLANTRY ALL THE REST WD SEEMA CORE IMPERVIOUS TO THE PUMICE STONE.MM ALONE WAS TOTALLY HERSELF,MIND ONE WITH MATTER YET SHE HAD A STYLE WAS IT REAL THE INDIVIDUAL STYLEOF A PARTICULAR PERSON WHO CAN SAY IT WAS I THINK HER GENIUS THAT ALLOWEDSPACE TO SURROUND HER IN WHATEVER CROWD,A CAM EXTERIOR UPHELD, DEFINEDNEVER PREDICTABLY, BY HER THINKING MIND About Maria blah blah blahmy furniture This is a must own masterwork from a poet with tremendous gifts and talent an, possibly, genius a dazzling work, possibly the single greatest achievement in poetry released in the second half of the last century that I ve read. Admittedly, Merrill is not for everyone His poetry is dense, cyclical, scientific, and at times deliberately aloof Yet, this post modern epic poem deserves to be placed alongside T.S Elliot s The Wasteland as one of the great long poems of the 20th century A poem in the form of a Ouija board, a horde of deceased characters being channeled through Merrill s partnership with his lover, and fittingly dense ruminations on metaphysical concepts makes this daunting poem worth the read and the re Admittedly, Merrill is not for everyone His poetry is dense, cyclical, scientific, and at times deliberately aloof Yet, this post modern epic poem deserves to be placed alongside T.S Elliot s The Wasteland as one of the great long poems of the 20th century A poem in the form of a Ouija board, a horde of deceased characters being channeled through Merrill s partnership with his lover, and fittingly dense ruminations on metaphysical concepts makes this daunting poem worth the read and the revelations it can bring Richard Kenney suggested that I might get a kick out of this book, given my penchant for writing tarot card sonnets The Changing Light at Sandover is a 560 page epic poem, which was published in three separate installments between 1976 and 1980, and in its entirety in 1982.With his partner David Jackson, Merrill spentthan 20 years transcribing supernatural communications during s ances using a ouija board Already established in the 1970s among the finest poets of his generation, Me Richard Kenney suggested that I might get a kick out of this book, given my penchant for writing tarot card sonnets The Changing Light at Sandover is a 560 page epic poem, which was published in three separate installments between 1976 and 1980, and in its entirety in 1982.With his partner David Jackson, Merrill spentthan 20 years transcribing supernatural communications during s ances using a ouija board Already established in the 1970s among the finest poets of his generation, Merrill made a surprising detour when he began incorporating occult messages into his work In 1976, Merrill published his first ouija board narrative cycle, with a poem for each of the letters A through Z, calling it The Book of Ephraim.In 1976 Merrill believed he had exhausted the inspiration provided by the ouija board The supernatural spirits thought otherwise, however, ordering Merrill to write and publish further installments, Mirabell Books of Number in 1978 which received the National Book Award for Poetry in 1979 followed by Scripts for the Pageant in 1980 The complete three volume work, with a brief additional coda, appeared as The Changing Light at Sandover in 1982.In live readings, Merrill was able to impersonate the narrating voices of deceased poet W.H Auden and late friends Maya Deren and Maria Mitsot ki, as well as otherworldly spirits including Ephraim and Mirabell a ouija board guide, initially described as a bat, who is transformed into a peacock Told you he s weirder than Robert Frost I slammed into a wall in the middle of this, and kind of gave up on it I getout of Merrill s shorter work, without the sci fi aspects of The Changing Light Not that I m particularly qualified to evaluate this magnum opus. I am no where near smart enough for this thing, but it s so beautiful. REMEMBER THIS IS NON FICTIONThe transcripts from the Ouija sessions are in special collections at Washington University in Saint Louis `E-pub ☞ The Changing Light at Sandover ☛ James Merrill s audacious and dazzling epic poem, The Changing Light at Sandover, remains as startling today as when it first emerged in separate volumes over a period of several years Individual parts won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and the entire poem, when it was collected into one volume in , won the National Book Critics Circle Award It is now an American classic, here in a definitive new hardcover edition that includes Voices from Sandover, Merrill s recasting of the poem for the stage The book carries us to the scene of Merrill s Ouija board sessions with his partner, David Jackson the candlelit Stonington dining room with its flame colored walls and the famous Willowware cup they used as a pointer in their occult travels In a shimmering interplay of verse forms, Merrill set down their extended conversations with their familiar and guide, Ephraim a first century Greek Jew , W H Auden, W B Yeats, Plato, a brilliant peacock named Mirabell, and other old friends who had passed to the other side JM whom the spirits call scribe and DJ hand are also introduced to the lonely eminence God B God Biology , his sister Mother Nature, and a host of angels and lesser residents of the empyrean who are variously involved in the ways of this worldThe laughter, the missteps, and the schoolroom frustrations of the earthly pair s gradual enlightenment make this otherworldly journey, finally, an utterly human one A unique exploration of the writer s role in a postatomic, postreligious age, Sandover has been compared to the work of Yeats, Proust, Milton, and Blake Merrill s tale of the joys and tragedies of man s powers, and his message about the importance of our endangered efforts to make a good life on earth, will stand as one of the most profound experiences available to readers of poetry