James Merrill

(3 March 1926 – 6 February 1995 / New York City, New York)

James Merrill Poems

1. Manos Karastefanes 5/9/2012
2. Yánnina 5/9/2012
3. A Mysterious Epigraph 5/9/2012
4. The Candid Decorator 5/9/2012
5. Home Fires 5/9/2012
6. Another April 5/9/2012
7. Log 5/9/2012
8. The Puzzle Is No Puzzle 5/9/2012
9. An Urban Convalescence 5/9/2012
10. Voices From The Other World 5/9/2012
11. The Broken Home 5/9/2012
Best Poem of James Merrill

The Broken Home

Crossing the street,
I saw the parents and the child
At their window, gleaming like fruit
With evening’s mild gold leaf.

In a room on the floor below,
Sunless, cooler—a brimming
Saucer of wax, marbly and dim—
I have lit what’s left of my life.

I have thrown out yesterday’s milk
And opened a book of maxims.
The flame quickens. The word stirs.

Tell me, tongue of fire,
That you and I are as real
At least as the people upstairs.


My father, who had flown in World War I,
Might have continued to invest his life
In cloud banks well ...

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