The formal inventiveness of this new volume by Anselm Berrigan is satisfying and maddening.
It’s easy to forget what an oddly heterogeneous and restless book is W.E.B Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk.
What happens when you cross the perfervid emotionalism of Edna St. Vincent Millay, she of the candle burning at both ends, with Charles Olson’s idea, distilled out of William Carlos Williams, of a projective verse imbued with “the breathing of the man who writes” (and I suppose it is very emphatically a man who writes the poetry that Olson had in mind)?
Lifelong friend of Trappist Monk Thomas Merton and abstract painter Ad Reinhardt, Robert Lax wrote spare poems that, in their beguiling simplicity, provoke anxieties about how and why we read.
So serene an entry point into this volume, the title One Morning—. promises the lengthening of sunlight across the expanse of a modest domestic existence, incidents without excitement.
I never set out to be a critic of poetry, and still refuse the label. Actually writing poems is already thankless enough.