Saturday, April 14, 2018

Falling Short

A few days ago I was bemoaning my lack of real progress in reading Leviathan. I perhaps should have mentioned then that the same complaint applied to my glacial progress through James Merrill's Collected Poems. I'm approaching the end of his 1966 collection Nights And Days and I'm not finding things are getting easier. Each poem is a challenge, one that usually renders some kind of satisfaction, minimally in terms of a number of striking phrases, but often rather more than that in grasping a reasonable sense of the intent of the whole. But I haven't yet read a single poem of which I've felt something absolutely fully achieved in my reading. After 206 pages that's a bit disappointing.

But there're another 662 pages to go, so chances are something will turn up.

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