Still reading the new Berrigan, too. It's a giant planet on the table. I'm trying to wrap my head around it slowly. "So much looming..." The book is right at 750 pages of poems, notes, and other supplementals. The black dividers are indispensable for anyone (like me) who wants to divvy up the reading. The chunks are thus manageable, or seem to be, except it's going to take me months to manage a way through the whole thing. I need to get my copy own (soon) before I tear up the one from the library. The endnotes show which poems are stitched together from work by others, even long after The Sonnets. In one Ashbery-O'Hara poem, he talks of avoiding "the mess and the message." But here the mess is half the fun. It is the surplus that is so awesome to exploit. It is also the politics: a mess spilling over narratives of containment that dominated the landscape during his coming of age. Noting the links between family and nation: "In Minneapolis, Minnesota there are many married men. / Many Americans are making money in Mexico." Berrigan is the reverse of so many trends. He did not flee to the suburbs, he did not build a bomb shelter. Berrigan has a hundred ways to tease the emotional rush out of the line. I also keep noting lines that claw in two ways at once. And then: "Each conviction lengthens the sentence."

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