The Critical Introduction, titled "James Merrill's Queer Muse," uses Queer Theory to analyze Merrill's creative process when writing The Changing Light at Sandover. It argues that Merrill queers the heteronormative orientation of the eroticized relationship between poet and muse. This heteronormative dynamic is exemplified by the twentieth-century's most famous poet to draw on occult inspiration, W.B. Yeats. Merrill is both explicit and implicit in rejecting Yeats' assertive, decidedly masculine approach to his presumed female muse, emphasizing the poet's passivity toward and equality with the muse in the creative process. The second part is a collection of poems titled "Canon." Each of the collection's sixty-six poems is written in conversation with a book of the Protestant Bible, and each poem uses only the words found in its corresponding book.
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