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John Berryman, poetry, the dream songs, American author, analysys.
 

John Berryman, poetry, the dream songs, American author, analysys.

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John Berryman, poetry, the dream songs, American author, analysys.

John Berryman, poetry, the dream songs, American author, analysys.

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    John Berryman, poetry, the dream songs, American author, analysys. John Berryman, poetry, the dream songs, American author, analysys. Presentation Transcript

    • John Berryman A scholar, a professor, a poet and a key figure in the ‘Confessional Poetry’ movement. Born John Allyn Smith, Jr. October 25, 1914 McAlester, Oklahoma, USA Died January 7, 1972 (aged 57) Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA Alma mater Columbia University Notable work The Dream Songs (1969), Homage to Mistress Bradstreet (1956) Notable awards National Book Award, Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Bollingen Prize Spouses Eileen Simpson (1942-1956); divorced Ann Levine (1956-1959); divorced Kate Donahue (1961-1972) Berryman suffered a great loss at 12 when his father shot himself outside the boy’s window. This event haunted him throughout his life, and recurred as a subject in his poetry. After his mother remarried, John took his stepfather’s name and lived in Massachusetts and New York City. Graduated from Columbia in 1939, then went to Cambridge to study. The first of three marriages came in 1942, and six years later he published his first important book of poetry, The Dispossessed. In 1955, after teaching at Harvard and Princeton, Berryman took a position at the University of Minnesota, where he remained until his death. Berryman's great poetic breakthrough occurred after he published 77 Dream Songs in 1964. Berryman was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1967, and that same year Life magazine ran a feature story on him. In 1968 Berryman published a second volume of Dream Songs, entitled His Toy, His Dream, His Rest. The frankness of Berryman’s work influenced his friend Robert Lowell and other Confessional poets like Anne Sexton. The poet’s lifelong struggles with alcoholism and depression ended in 1972, when he jumped off a Minneapolis bridge in the dead of winter. “We must travel in the direction of our fear.” “You should always be trying to write a poem you are unable to write, a poem you lack the technique, the language, the courage to achieve. Otherwise you're merely imitating yourself, going nowhere, because that's always easiest.”
    • The songs portray “Henry,” an anguished and often-deranged character very much like Berryman. Three six-line stanzas Allusions to past and present events and to literary figures. Slangy diction, a nervous, fractured syntax. Influenced by the Irish poet W.B. Yeats, psychoanalysis and Shakespeare. “These Songs are not meant to be understood, you understand. They are only meant to terrify & comfort.” ― John Berryman, The Dream Songs The Dream Song №4 Filling her compact & delicious body with chicken páprika, she glanced at me twice. Fainting with interest, I hungered back and only the fact of her husband & four other people kept me from springing on her or falling at her little feet and crying 'You are the hottest one for years of night Henry's dazed eyes have enjoyed, Brilliance.' I advanced upon (despairing) my spumoni. --Sir Bones: is stuffed, de world, wif feeding girls. --Black hair, complexion Latin, jewelled eyes downcast . . . The slob beside her feasts . . . What wonders is she sitting on, over there? The restaurant buzzes. She might as well be on Mars. Where did it all go wrong? There ought to be a law against Henry. --Mr. Bones: there is.
    • The Dream Song 14 Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so. After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns, we ourselves flash and yearn, and moreover my mother told me as a boy (repeatingly) ‘Ever to confess you’re bored means you have no Inner Resources.’ I conclude now I have no inner resources, because I am heavy bored. Peoples bore me, literature bores me, especially great literature, Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes as bad as achilles, who loves people and valiant art, which bores me. And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag and somehow a dog has taken itself & its tail considerably away into mountains or sea or sky, leaving behind: me, wag.