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The Darkness Surrounds Us

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  8 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Published 1960 by Jonathan Williams
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Anthony Vacca
May 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Gilbert Sorentino’s 1960 debut publication The Darkness Surrounds Us is a slim chapbook of poems that show the anti-fictionisto’s humble beginnings as an earnest poet who was greatly influenced by William Carlos Williams. As far as I can discern, most of these poems deal with mundane images that propound the notion that herein broils more meaning and insight than any 2000-line poem dealing with big buzzword topics. The poems are bouncy and brief and show a more direct approach to writing than wh ...more
Oct 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
As I sd to my
friend, because I am
always talking,—John, I

sd, which was not his
name, the darkness sur-
rounds us
, what

can we do against
it, or else, shall we &
why not, buy a goddamn big car,

drive, he sd, for
christ’s sake, look
out where yr going.
- "I Know a Man", Robert Creeley


I've nothing to say
to them;

pride is as solid
as summer heat.

That is to say
you can't cut it:

with a knife in the kitchen
I cut

a tomato; nothing to say
to them: them them rot

and be bitten by night,
in the co
Jan 05, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: poetry
I love Sorrentino, but the poems in here are not good, or rather, just not that interesting. But really, that's kind of nice, in that I appreciate that he got better as a poet (White Sail, The Orangery), which is rather heartening.

But the book itself is gorgeous, you can never go wrong with an object published by Jonathan Williams.

Jeff Sorensen
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I had the first edition of this but I think I gave it to my friend Angela. It came out in 1960, and I don't think it's been in print since. Good poems, William Carlos Williams style, great jacket cover too.
Paul Secor
Gilbert Sorrentino's first book of poems, including "A Classic Case", the poem that led me to his work.
rated it really liked it
Jan 17, 2012
Pasquale Verdicchio
rated it it was amazing
Sep 28, 2008
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Ned Peneguy
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Gilbert Sorrentino was one of the founders (1956, together with Hubert Selby Jr.) and the editor (1956-1960) of the literary magazine Neon, the editor for Kulchur (1961-1963), and an editor at Grove Press (1965-1970). Selby's Last Exit to Brooklyn (1964) and The Autobiography of Malcolm X are among his editorial projects. Later he took up positions at Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia University, t ...more
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