Berengarten, Richard

Richard Berengarten - Notness


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“The energy released by these poems is deposited into the hands of the reader, where, like a valuable metal, it invites and awaits transformation into further moulds and patterns.” — MARIA FILIPPAKOPOULOU 
 “In these intricately linked sequences, Berengarten demonstrates his unique ability to renew poetic traditions through strategies of integration rather than rejection.” — PAUL SCOTT DERRICK 
“These sonnets are astonishing for their range and technical mastery. Wonderful poems.” — HENRY WEINFIELD 
“Real life, these poems persuade us, is a string of pebbles, of inexplicable formed encounters on the beach of a space-time continuum which at once alienates us from these shared visions and grants us them.” — CATHERINE PICKSTOCK

Richard Berengarten - Notness

Paperback, 104pp, 9x6ins, £9.95 / $18
ISBN 9781848613812 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]
This sequence of one hundred sonnets was composed between 1967 and 2013. The title, Notness, is an anagram of the word ‘Sonnets’. The word ‘Metaphysical’ in the subtitle is, I hope, a pointer to some of the tendencies and intentions in and surrounding the title. The only further key – or, rather, hint – that I think needs to be offered here is that the so-called ‘core’ of isness is notness, just as at that of notness is isnesss: a never-ending dance. Others more adept at quieting the buzzing mind will know a good deal more about this than I do. (Richard Berengarten)
“A tremendous piece of work, a rare achievement. Berengarten belongs to the great tradition of Jewish poets that embraces Mandelstam and Celan. These remarkable sonnets are surely destined to endure.” — ANNE STEVENSON 
“A metaphysical dancing floor, a choreography of shadows out of the play of light between life and death. A triumph of poetry over the formidable obstacles of time.” — SEBASTIAN BARKER
“These poems stand against the anti-metaphysical prejudice of our age. Each sonnet is like a crystalline vessel in which some rare and precious liquid has been distilled.” — RODERICK MAIN 
“An extraordinary collection. Rooted in the Lurianic Kabbalah, Notness confronts the shadow-play of being and nothingness even as it seeks to repair the world.” — PAUL PINES 
 “Intellectual seriousness is irrigated with wit and sustained with astonishing technical resourcefulness. A remarkable work, mind-opening and intellectually and emotionally challenging.” — CARL SCHMIDT
“These are poems which give contemplation to the very in-being of life, its personal folds of love, birth and death. A genuine triumph.” — A. ROBERT LEE 
 “From a mind humming with thought, we experience intimations of what lies before or beyond the verbal. And fourteen lines often appear to contain the world.” — PASCHALIS NIKOLAOU
“A remarkable achievement. This is ‘Metaphysical poetry’ of the highest order. It deals with the always ramifying and unfathomable mystery of our being.” — MALCOLM GUITE 

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