The Sonnets (Penguin Poets)

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9780140589276: The Sonnets (Penguin Poets)

Originally published in 1964, The Sonnets by Ted Berrigan is considered by many to be his most important and influential book. This new annotated edition, with an introduction by Alice Notley, includes seven previously uncollected works. Like Shakespeare's sonnets, Berrigan's poems involve friendship and love triangles, but while the former happen chronologically, Berrigan's happen in the moment, with the story buried beneath a surface of names, repetitions, and fragmented experience. Reflecting the new American sensibilities of the 1960's as well as timeless poetic themes, The Sonnets is both eclectic and classical — the poems are monumental riddles worth contemplating.

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About the Author:

Ted Berrigan, poetic and inspiratinal genius of the second generation of the New York School Poets, was born in Providence, Rhode Isalnd, on November 15, 1934. He was educated at La Salle Academy in Providence and, after sixteen months in Korea as a soldier, at the University of Tulsa (on the GI Bill). During the 1960's he lived in New York's Lower East Side, writing city poems, publishing the exciting and unique "C" Magazine and "C" Press books, writing art criticism, and playing leader to a group of young poets and appreciators of poetry. Later he was Writer In Residence, Lecturer, Teaching Fellow, etc. at such places as The Writers Workshop (University of Iowa), the University of Essex (England), Northeastern Illinois University (Chicago), and the Naropa Institute. In the mid-1970s he returned to the Lower East Side, teaching at Stevens Institute of Technology and the City College of New York, giving poetry readings everywhere, and influencing a new generation of poets. His many books include the major sequence The Sonnets, a central collection So Going Around Cities, several collaborative books with other poets, long poems, a novel, and interviews. In a curriculum vitae from 1982, he described himself as "modestly venerable, large, traditional in appearance. Resemble Apollinaire (w/beard) or bear disguised as GBS ... Formidable, affable, durable " He died on July 4, 1983.
Alice Notley is a poet whose twenty previous titles include The Descent of Alette, Beginning with a Stain, Homer's Art, and Selected Poems. She wrote the introduction for her late first husband Ted Berrigan's Selected Poems. She lives in Paris.

From Publishers Weekly:

The sonnet, in Berrigan's hands (and scissors), was as much an arbitrary frame for experience as a traditional form. In her introduction and notes to this fifth and definitive printing of her late first husband's 1963 collage masterpiece, poet Alice Notley makes a persuasive case for the philosophical and art-historical grounding of these poems. On now greatly facilitated rereading, however, they remain first and foremost wonderful poetry. Berrigan's "sonnets" (conventional almost exclusively in their line count) were put together using a plethora of now-famous techniques: frame-breaking jump cuts, lines and phrases transposed from poem to poem and line to line, sound-based translations from French (and English), and simply beautiful writing. These methods, some lifted from John Ashbery's The Tennis Court Oath, are put in the service of plotlines both poignant and surly, and details hilarious and sensuous: "I think I was thinking when I was/ ahead I'd be somewhere like Perry street erudite/ dazzling slim and badly loved/ contemplating my new book of poems/ to be printed in simple type on old brown paper/ feminine marvelous and tough." The sonnet's customary pithy closing couplet is here converted into the detached, calm endings of modern poems and short stories. And the volta, or the rhetorical turn that characterizes Shakespeare's sonnets, isn't fixed at the beginning of the ninth line, as befits a poetry influenced (as Notley notes) by Whitehead's theory of time. This edition includes seven previously uncollected sonnets; these, with Notley's commentary, make this an indispensable addition to any poetry library. One hopes it will alert publishers to the need for a Collected Berrigan, and introduce new readers to a midcentury classic.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Annotated edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. Originally published in 1964, The Sonnets by Ted Berrigan is considered by many to be his most important and influential book. This new annotated edition, with an introduction by Alice Notley, includes seven previously uncollected works. Like Shakespeare s sonnets, Berrigan s poems involve friendship and love triangles, but while the former happen chronologically, Berrigan s happen in the moment, with the story buried beneath a surface of names, repetitions, and fragmented experience. Reflecting the new American sensibilities of the 1960 s as well as timeless poetic themes, The Sonnets is both eclectic and classical the poems are monumental riddles worth contemplating. Bookseller Inventory # BZV9780140589276

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