Publication Date: October 2000
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“The Sonnets are an enduring benchmark in mid-20th-century American poetics. Intimate, endlessly inventive, they make an extraordinary manifest of that time and all its habits of person and place. They are without question a great literary artifact but they are also the unique presence of our human world — just yesterday, as one says, and now forever and ever. Alice Notley has done a consummate job of editing and her notes and introduction are an excellent resource for all present-day poets and readers alike”
“One of the most significant works of twentieth-century American poetry, Ted Berrigan’s Sonnets remains as present and perspicacious as it was when it first appeared in the world almost forty years ago. Its vivacity remains unabashed, its momentum remains undeterred. It is a work in time about time’s inability to stop life. The Sonnets denies nothing; it acknowledges fear and tragedy; it discovers hilarity and speaks of beauty and of love. It encompasses plenitude; it is great.”
“Even though out of print for much of the last third of the 20th century, Ted Berrigan’s The Sonnets has inspired and influenced several generations of poets. Its present reissue in a definitive, annotated form is a major event in Anglophone literature. Its playful range of verbal pyrotechnics serves to convey a unique sensibility, sense of humor, strength of feeling. The Sonnets is a modern (or, if you wish, postmodern) classic, an exemplary source book for innovative writing strategies. Dazzling but not faddish, solid but not solemn, The Sonnets is poetry that gives you things to think about, and to think about again. And again.”