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Top 100 or so Poems..."The Sonnets" by Ted Berrigan -- SONNET I

Our list of articles on the "Top 100 or so..." poems could not be considered complete (will never be complete, anyway) without this great work from poet Ted Berrigan.  Berrigan became one of the driving forces behind the 2nd Generation New York School of poets - counting as his peers such poetic luminaries as Anne Waldman, Ron Padgett, and his second wife, Alice Notley.

"The Sonnets" is a collection of "creatively assembled" sonnets reflecting Berrigan's own experimental technique -- the themes and content of which are emblematic of the accelerating and changing environment of the times (early 60's) - and widely considered an example of classic American poetry.

After accumulating a massive work of collected sonnets during a particularly creative span of time, Berrigan revisited these works, and then took a single line from each work, assembling them into newly constructed thematic partial sonnets of 6 lines each.  He then worked backwards through his works again, picking additional lines to create the body of work as it stands today - already having written the final couplet -- 77 individual sonnets exist using this innovative, creative approach.

We'll be publishing about 10 of these sonnets to represent this work in our blog; to begin with we present the first one, spearheading this unique creative process -- so please enjoy "The Sonnets: I".  As usual, commentary is more than welcome!

The Sonnets: I

By Ted Berrigan
His piercing pince-nez. Some dim frieze
Hands point to a dim frieze, in the dark night.
In the book of his music the corners have straightened:
Which owe their presence to our sleeping hands.
The ox-blood from the hands which play
For fire for warmth for hands for growth
Is there room in the room that you room in?
Upon his structured tomb:
Still they mean something. For the dance
And the architecture.
Weave among incidents
May be portentous to him
We are the sleeping fragments of his sky,
Wind giving presence to fragments.

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