Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Pulitzer prize recipient James Merrill linked to Merrill Lynch investment firm through father and poetry

He memorialized the Weather Underground bombing in his poem “18 West 11th Street,” the address of his birth

  • The Puzzle Is No Puzzle

  • A card table in the library stands ready 
  • To receive the puzzle which keeps never coming. 
  • Daylight shines in or lamplight down 
  • Upon the tense oasis of green felt. 
  • Full of unfulfillment, life goes on, 
  • Mirage arisen from time’s trickling sands 
  • Or fallen piecemeal into place: 
  • German lesson, picnic, see-saw, walk 
  • With the collie who ‘did everything but talk’ — 
  • Sour windfalls of the orchard back of us. 
  • A summer without parents is the puzzle, 
  • Or should be. But the boy, day after day, 
  • Writes in his Line-a-Day No puzzle. 
  • When the puzzle finally arrives, after days of waiting, it is described in detail:
  • Out of the blue, as promised, of a New York 
  • Puzzle-rental shop the puzzle comes — 
  • A superior one, containing a thousand hand-sawn, 
  • Sandal-scented pieces. Many take 
  • shapes known already — the craftsman’s repertoire 
  • nice in its limitation — from other puzzles: 
  • Witch on broomstick, ostrich, hourglass, 
  • Even (not surely just in retrospect) 
  • An inchling, innocently-branching palm.
  • Log

  • Then when the flame forked like a sudden path
  • I gasped and stumbled, and was less.
  • Density pulsing upward, gauze of ash,
  • Dear light along the way to nothingness,
  • What could be made of you but light, and this?
  • Manos Karastefanes

  • Death took my father.
  • The same year (I was twelve)
  • Thanási’s mother taught me
  • Heaven and hell.
  • None of my army buddies
  • Called me by name—
  • Just ‘Styles’ or ‘Fashion Plate’.
  • One friend I had, my body,
  • And, evenings at the gym
  • Contending with another,
  • Used it to isolate
  • Myself from him.
  • The doctor saved my knee.
  • You came to the clinic
  • Bringing War and Peace,
  • Better than any movie.
  • Why are you smiling?
  • I fought fair, I fought well,
  • Not hurting my opponent,
  • To win this black belt.
  • Why are you silent?
  • I’ve brought you a white cheese 
  • From my island, and the sea’s
  • Voice in a shell.
James Merrill

James Merrill (1926-1995) was an American poet known for his distinctive formal style. He was the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1977, and completed his three-volume apocalyptic epic The Changing Light at Sandover in 1980. Born in New York City, Merrill is the son of Charles E. Merrill (1885-1956), one of the founding partners of the Merrill Lynch investment firm. Coincidentally, the poet was born in the building that would become the site of the infamous 1970 Greenwich Village townhouse explosion, caused when a bomb, targeted for military men and their dates at a ball scheduled at Fort Dix, NJ, prematurely exploded as it was being constructed by members of the domestic terrorist group Weather Underground. Merrill memorialized the event in his poem “18 West 11th Street.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Howl-O-Ween Harvest Family Festival, Athenaeum Jazz: Nowhereland

Events October 3-October 7, 2020
Next Article

Cyclops Farms pulls up stakes in Oceanside

The water bill dinners could only go so far
  • The Puzzle Is No Puzzle

  • A card table in the library stands ready 
  • To receive the puzzle which keeps never coming. 
  • Daylight shines in or lamplight down 
  • Upon the tense oasis of green felt. 
  • Full of unfulfillment, life goes on, 
  • Mirage arisen from time’s trickling sands 
  • Or fallen piecemeal into place: 
  • German lesson, picnic, see-saw, walk 
  • With the collie who ‘did everything but talk’ — 
  • Sour windfalls of the orchard back of us. 
  • A summer without parents is the puzzle, 
  • Or should be. But the boy, day after day, 
  • Writes in his Line-a-Day No puzzle. 
  • When the puzzle finally arrives, after days of waiting, it is described in detail:
  • Out of the blue, as promised, of a New York 
  • Puzzle-rental shop the puzzle comes — 
  • A superior one, containing a thousand hand-sawn, 
  • Sandal-scented pieces. Many take 
  • shapes known already — the craftsman’s repertoire 
  • nice in its limitation — from other puzzles: 
  • Witch on broomstick, ostrich, hourglass, 
  • Even (not surely just in retrospect) 
  • An inchling, innocently-branching palm.
  • Log

  • Then when the flame forked like a sudden path
  • I gasped and stumbled, and was less.
  • Density pulsing upward, gauze of ash,
  • Dear light along the way to nothingness,
  • What could be made of you but light, and this?
  • Manos Karastefanes

  • Death took my father.
  • The same year (I was twelve)
  • Thanási’s mother taught me
  • Heaven and hell.
  • None of my army buddies
  • Called me by name—
  • Just ‘Styles’ or ‘Fashion Plate’.
  • One friend I had, my body,
  • And, evenings at the gym
  • Contending with another,
  • Used it to isolate
  • Myself from him.
  • The doctor saved my knee.
  • You came to the clinic
  • Bringing War and Peace,
  • Better than any movie.
  • Why are you smiling?
  • I fought fair, I fought well,
  • Not hurting my opponent,
  • To win this black belt.
  • Why are you silent?
  • I’ve brought you a white cheese 
  • From my island, and the sea’s
  • Voice in a shell.
James Merrill

James Merrill (1926-1995) was an American poet known for his distinctive formal style. He was the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1977, and completed his three-volume apocalyptic epic The Changing Light at Sandover in 1980. Born in New York City, Merrill is the son of Charles E. Merrill (1885-1956), one of the founding partners of the Merrill Lynch investment firm. Coincidentally, the poet was born in the building that would become the site of the infamous 1970 Greenwich Village townhouse explosion, caused when a bomb, targeted for military men and their dates at a ball scheduled at Fort Dix, NJ, prematurely exploded as it was being constructed by members of the domestic terrorist group Weather Underground. Merrill memorialized the event in his poem “18 West 11th Street.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Sweet meets heat at Fluster Cluck Hot Chicken

A revamped Nashville chicken stall dishes crispy and spicy enough tenders
Next Article

Gerry Braun gives to boss Mara Elliott

Lorena Gonzalez gets $500K from unions to fight Uber
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close