@rnv @richnewman Full disclosure: ARK is actually the only book-length work I managed to finish in April. And I haven’t really finished it; I’ve only just begun finishing it. I will explore it for the rest of the year, and probably for the rest of my life.
JH Prynne’s White Stones felt much longer than it was (not necessarily in a good way, but not always in a bad way), and it seemed at times like a single poem, though it definitely wasn’t.
I’d been working slowly through John Matthias’ Collected Longer for nearly two years and was actually relieved more than anything to finally finish it. It’s comprised of what the editor calls “pocket epics” — they’re long the way the poems in Hayden Carruth’s Collected Longer Poems are long: maybe ten to thirty pages each. But so dense and digressive, like Pound or Zukofsky.
The rest were shorter books. (For example, Night Vision, by Claire Wahmanholm, is a chapbook — most of which reappears in slightly modified form in Wilder.)
I’m this close to bringing a few others in for a landing, like Logue’s War Music and David Ferry’s translation of the Georgics. Next week? Don’t hold your breath.
Also, I declared bankruptcy on a few other long works, putting them off for another time. This alone made April a fruitful month for reading: deciding what I’m not going to read. As Thoreau says, Know your own bone.