"A poem of apparent formal virtuosity," Weiner argues, " 'Misanthropos' pushes form to yield an ethos about form that is more importantly one beyond form" (At the Barriers, p. 120, emphasis original). Weiner cites this notebook entry, Gunn's "Notes on the Last Man," in which Gunn overtly states what the "poem is about."
Along with a draft of a letter to Tanner, Gunn's "last" notebook contains a revised order for the poem sections, drafts and notes, and a summary and justification for the first two sections.
Gunn wrote a detailed synopsis of the poem which he included with this copy of "Misanthropos." The draft, in the final order as published in Touch, has Gunn's notes and revisions.