Tuesday, August 30, 2005

September's Book: The Dream Songs, by John Berryman

46

I am, outside. Incredible panic rules.
People are blowing and beating each other without mercy.
Drinks are boiling. Iced
drinks are boiling. The worse anyone feels, the worse
treated he is. Fools elect fools.
A harmless man at an intersection said, under his breath: “Christ!”

That word, so spoken, affected the vision
of, when they trod to work next day, shopkeepers
who went & were fitted for glasses.
Enjoyed they then an appearance of love & law.
Millenia whift & waft—one, one—er, er. . .
Their glasses were taken from them, & they saw.

Man has undertaken the top job of all,
son fin. Good luck.
I myself walked at the funeral of tenderness.
Followed other deaths. Among the last,
like the memory of a lovely fuck,
was: Do, ut des.

This poem is number 46 of the 385 Dream Songs written by American poet John Berryman.

You won’t find a summary of the meaning of these poems on the back of the book, nor just inside either of the covers. Likewise, you won’t find a summary of the book here. This is because The Dream Songs (made up of 77 Dream Songs and His Toy, His Dream, His Rest) does not, like most great poetry, lend itself to neat packaging. It isn’t just a work of linguistic invention, though its innovation in this regard is undeniable; it isn’t just a work that searches for the American spirit, though, like Leaves of Grass, its only American superior, it manages to find it, glorify it, expose it; it isn’t just a work of soaring ambition and the struggle with reality: it’s all these things, and much more, captured and joined together as if in a seamless and surreal dream where language is sung, spirit is captive, and truth is inhaled.

A list of some of my personal favorites (all these from 77 Dream Songs):

9
11
12
13
14
15
16
18
20
23
26
40
42
44
45
46
48
61
62
63
64
69
74
75
76

77 Dream Songs won the Pulitzer Prize. His Toy, His Dream, His Rest won the National Book Award and the Bollingen Prize.

In 1972, John Berryman, haunted by emotional instability and heavy drinking, jumped off the Washington Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis and died.

3 Comments:

At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am curious to find out what blog system you have been working with?
I'm having some small security problems with my latest site and I would like to find something more secure. Do you have any solutions?

Feel free to surf to my web page: pirater un compte facebook

 
At 1:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's up colleagues, fastidious piece of writing and pleasant arguments commented here, I am actually enjoying by these.

my web site :: Generateur de Code PSN **

 
At 8:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent blog right here! Additionally your website so much up fast!
What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate hyperlink to your host?
I desire my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

my homepage; Dragon City Cheat Engine

 

Post a Comment

<< Home