Since Merwin was national Poet Laureate our book group decided to read some of his work, choosing The Lice. The poems are obscure and filled with anger and despair. The best we could do without extensive background and critical research was find individual lines and images to appreciate. As a woman in her 60s I recall the 1960s well. Many of us were angry, frustrated, despairing, full of energy and life which we couldn't articulate very well. We read Hemingway and Faulkner and imagined ourselves to be intellectuals because they were obscure and we appreciated them. Now I don't care.
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