Berryman's Henry: Living at the Intersection of Need and Art by Samuel Fisher Dodson

By Samuel Fisher Dodson

Berryman's Henry: residing on the Intersection of desire and paintings deals students and scholars the 1st thorough and well-researched car into John Berryman's epic poem The Dream Songs. via an in depth analyzing of the textual content, an exam of the historical past of its feedback and a few of Berryman's letters, notes, and pertinent manuscripts, Sam Dodson bargains the reader an effective start line to understand the presiding constitution and thematic concentration of this American vintage. This constitution, due to the poet's crafting and the poem's inner progress, is illustrated within the textual content via greater than thirty reproductions of a few of the Dream track drafts in development. No current serious paintings examines anyplace close to the variety of person Dream Songs as this reader's advisor, with a purpose to permit scholars and lecturers to go into Berryman's tough poem with self belief and a formal experience of course. Its goal is to supply the start reader and the student with a map for drawing close this massive paintings and discovering their method via its elegiac constitution and appreciating its team spirit. an in depth examine the poem's language and stylistic options, epic features and author's poetics, and so much in particular the elegiac circulation of the poem, will enable even the amateur reader to go into Henry's international. The elegies as a complete give you the be aware of mourning that's on the middle of Berryman's epic.

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The “style” he is referring to is the Dream Song pattern. Earlier in the poem Henry explains, “he gave himself to end a labour,” which is the completion of his epic poem. ”97 Self-conscious, and full of pride, Henry is boasting that the eighteen-line pattern of his Songs has allowed him to go to “the eighteenth edge,” thus pushing an expression and articulation of life to its most intense edge via poetic structure and language. This Song physically illustrates this pushing of 93 Dream Songs, 334.

Of course, it will still get messy at times. 89 Dream Songs, 304. , 288. , 350. 92 Olive Schreiner, The Story of an African Farm, London, 1883, 15. Henry’s Other Method 35 While this message steered Berryman thematically and structurally, it also may have offered him the freedom he desired linguistically. At the heart of the Songs is the freedom implied in Pound’s dictum to make it new. M. ”95 Berryman had already played with the form from within in his experimental sonnet sequence; now he plays off the form from without.

103. , 375. 46 Benjamin, 256. 47 Dream Songs, 375. , 375. 45 22 Berryman’s Henry stern moral views; and Henry loses his father, two wives, and the numerous literary friends he elegizes. Roy Harvey Pearce in “Toward an American Epic” argues that in our hero-less culture the modern American poet must create a projection of something other than the organizing desire of his creator to make over the world, and the men in it, in his own heroic image. 49 Henry does not battle hostile armies, but rather his own and his society’s destructive urges.

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