I recently read and reviewed Berry’s Monograph which I received through the Univerity of Georgia Press. I ordered Ampersand Revisited immediately after finishing Monograph. Usually, I have so many books to read I rarely order anything myself, but Monograph made enough of an impression on me that I had to read the predecessor.
I was not disappointed at all with Ampersand Revisited. It has the same style and ability to enrapture the reader. This collection covers the poets earlier life, high school and college in much the same way Monograph covers his present life. The poems are informative and seem to come from a part of the brain that is not used in conversation. Berry says he thinks in italics when he had trouble writing. Several themes reappear in the collection. There is the usual sex and drugs allusions and mentions of Sappho. There is an unusual recurrence of a gun and a brother who is an anarchist who holds grenades and adjectives in equal esteem.
The poems in complete are outstanding and even passages can inspire the reader:
Spend too much time outside
the body & you become like
a paragraph, transitory, &
A very impressive collection