Some say it's best to live before you die,
And silent choirs of angels all know why.


Tom Merrill’s poetry is hard to classify. It is personal without being self-absorbed, individual without being weird, and formal without being formalized. This is the work of someone who respects the traditions of his craft but never lets them stand in the way of its possibilities. It is poetry without pretension, rooted in life and spanning a wide range of subjects; here are immediate reactions and considered observations to engage the head and, lying in wait among them to trap the heart, pieces of honest and exquisite love poetry.
(ANN DRYSDALE / author, The Turn Of The Cucumber)

Don't let Tom Merrill's formal verse and elegant diction fool you: the man's a subversive, and a danger to party morale. I have notified the proper authorities, who will be monitoring his poetry closely from now on. However appealing one may find his unique voice and grim humor, however moved one may be by the sorrow and humanity of his poems, he cannot be allowed to undermine all we have worked for. This disturbing tendency of his to sympathize with the wrong sort of people, against the forces of law and order, conformity, and sobriety, must be suppressed. (ROSE KELLEHER / author, Native Species)


Staple Bound Chapbook
Cover art by BILL RICE
28 pages