John Allyn Berryman was an American poet and scholar, born in McAlester, Oklahoma. He was a major figure in American poetry in the second half of the 20th century and was considered a key figure in the Confessional school of poetry. His best-known work is The Dream Songs.
Life and Career
John Berryman was born and raised in Oklahoma until the age of 10, when his father, John Smith, a banker, and his mother, Martha, who was a schoolteacher, moved to Tampa, Florida. In 1926, in Florida, when the poet was twelve, his father shot and killed himself just outside his son's bedroom window. Berryman was haunted by his father's suicide for the rest of his life and would ... more »
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- Dream Song 1: Huffy Henry hid the day
- The Ball Poem
- Dream Song 14: Life, friends, is boring
- Dream Song 29: There sat down, once, a t...
- Dream Song 10: There were strange gather...
- Dream Song 113: or Amy Vladeck or Riva F...
- The Traveller
- Dream Song 112: My framework is broken, ...
- Dream Song 103: I consider a song will b...
- Dream Song 100: How this woman came by t...
- Dream Song 106: 28 July
- Dream Song 110: It was the blue & pl...
- Dream Song 11: His mother goes. The moth...
- Dream Song 105: As a kid I believed in d...
Quotationsmore quotations »
Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.John Berryman (1914-1972), U.S. poet. 77 Dream Songs, no. 14 (1964).
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me as a boy
''Bats have no bankers and they do not drinkJohn Berryman (1914-1972), U.S. poet. 77 Dream Songs, no. 63 (1964).
and cannot be arrested and pay no tax
and, in general, bats have it made.''
''"A poet is a man speaking to men":John Berryman (1914-1972), U.S. poet. A Professor's Song (l. 10-11). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxfor...
But I am then a poet, am I not?''
''Filling her compact & delicious bodyJohn Berryman (1914-1972), U.S. poet. Filling Her Compact (l. 1-3). . . Oxford Book of American Light Verse, The. William Harmon, ed. (1979) Oxfor...
with chicken paprika, she glanced at me
''only the fact of her husband & four other peopleJohn Berryman (1914-1972), U.S. poet. Filling Her Compact (l. 5-7). . . Oxford Book of American Light Verse, The. William Harmon, ed. (1979) Oxfor...
kept me from springing on her''
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
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