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77 Dream Songs: Poems [Format Kindle]

John Berryman , Daniel Swift , Henri Cole

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Présentation de l'éditeur

A wild, masterful Pulitzer Prize-winning cycle of poems that half a century later still shocks and astounds

John Berryman was hardly unknown when he published 77 Dream Songs, but the volume was, nevertheless, a shock and a revelation. A "spooky" collection in the words of Robert Lowell-"a maddening work of genius."
As Henri Cole notes in his elegant, perceptive introduction, Berryman had discovered "a looser style that mixed high and low dictions with a strange syntax." Berryman had also discovered his most enduring alter ego, a paranoid, passionate, depressed, drunk, irrepressible antihero named Henry or, sometimes, Mr. Bones: "We touch at certain points," Berryman claimed, of Henry, "But I am an actual human being."
Henry may not be real, but he comes alive on the page. And while the most famous of the Dream Songs begins, "Life, friends, is boring," these poems never are. Henry lusts: seeing a woman "Filling her compact & delicious body / with chicken páprika" he can barely restrain himself: "only the fact of her husband & four other people / kept me from springing on her." Henry despairs: "All the world like a woolen lover / once did seem on Henry's side. / Then came a departure." Henry, afraid of his own violent urges, consoles himself: "Nobody is ever missing."
77 Dream Songs won the Pulitzer Prize in 1965, but Berryman's formal and emotional innovations-he cracks the language open, creates a new idiom in which to express eternal feelings-remain as alive and immediate today as ever.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 341 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 113 pages
  • Editeur : Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Édition : Reprint (21 octobre 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00LKR7T0G
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°474.024 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Amazon.com: 3.7 étoiles sur 5  3 commentaires
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Berryman's confessional poetry is poignant but tinged with warmth and irony 13 mars 2012
Par Christopher Culver - Publié sur Amazon.com
Beginning in 1955, John Berryman began a long cycle of confessional poems, all following a strict form of three stanzas with six lines each. Eventually he produced 385 of them, and these were ultimately collected in The Dream Songs. But that full collection has so much material that it is overwhelming for anyone approaching this poetry, so the first collection, 77 DREAM SONGS, is worth examining on its own.

The protagonist of the Dream Songs is a man named Henry, whose last name is never pinned down. The first poem introduces this character and the state he finds himself in: "All the world like a woolen lover / once did seem on Henry's side. / Then came a departure. / Thereafter nothing fell out as it might or ought. I don't see how Henry, pried / open for all the world to see, survived." Berryman denied that depictions of Henry were autobiographical, but in fact the poems are clearly based on Berryman's own anguished life: feelings of romantic and sexual inadequacy, alcoholism, the travails of life in academia, temporary relief in travels in the Orient, and sorrow at the death of literary friends like Frost and Roethke (and lingering pain from the suicide of the poet's father decades before). Over these individual achings hangs a general existential one:

"Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so. / After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns, / we ourselves flash and yearn, / and morever my mother told me as a boy / (repeatedly) 'Ever to confess you're bored / means you have no // Inner Resources.' I conclude now I have no / inner resources, because I am heavily bored."

As much as Berryman/Henry's existence is plagued with doubt, his poetry is powerful. We can all identify with the loss and yearning expressed in these poems. And by applying his problem to this character named Henry, Berryman can sometimes stand aside from them and offer some humour. It is this humour that saves the collection from being grim to the point of absurdity, and the zaniness should appeal to a wide audience.

There is occasionally a second presence in these poems, that controversially speaks in the faux-African-American speech of 19th century minstrelry and addresses Henry always as Mr. Bones. This second personality is but another aspect of Henry/Berryman's own, and though Berryman is open to accusations of casual racism, he also clearly appreciates African-American English as a source of greater expressive possibilities in English. And there's another kind of linguistic virtuosity here, the confused syntax of the drunkard (and/or one half asleep -- these are "dream songs"): "When worst got things, how was you? Steady on? / Wheedling, or shockt her & / you have been bad to your friend, / whom not you writing to. You have not listened. / A pelican of lies / you loosed: where are you?"

And to quote one poem that contains all the features of which I've written, consider number 36:

"The high ones die, die. They die. You look up and who's there? / -- Easy, easy. Mr. Bones. I is on your side. / I smell your grief. / -- I sent my grief away. I cannot care / forever. With them all again & again I died / and cried, and I have to live.

-- Now there you exaggerate, Sah. We hafta die. / That is our 'pointed task. Love & die. / -- Yes; that makes sense. / But what makes sense between, then? / What if I roiling & babbling & braining; brood on why and / just sat on the fence?

-- I doubts you did or do. De choice is lost / -- It's fool's gold. But I go in for that. / The boy & the bear / looked at each other. Man all is tossed / & lost with groin-wounds by the grand bulls, cat. / William Faulkner's where?

(Frost being still around.)"

If you like some of the mid-20th century poets who grappled with torment and doubts, and were open about it, like Robert Lowell or Theodore Roethke, then the Dream Songs will probably provide many pleasures.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Beautiful and honest 28 mars 2015
Par Francois Pointeau - Publié sur Amazon.com
I am reading “77 Dream Songs” by John Berryman out loud to myself. I find it is the only way to hear the music of his poems. I tried reading them silently, but I couldn’t understand them—they spoke nothing to me—and so I started reading them out loud in a scruffy voice while sipping on some dark coffee; and finally, I started to understand them; at a raw level of emotion, is where they speak to me, because for the most part, I don’t understand the words, or rather, I don’t understand their order, their syntax, their exterior meaning ... but the music, that’s where it’s at, the music of a very disenchanted heart. Beautiful and honest.
0 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Not For Me 3 mars 2015
Par Bartleby (scrivner) - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Read this stuff at your peril. I say Phaw!
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