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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