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 motor vehicle into John Berryman's epic poem The Dream Songs. via an in depth interpreting 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 deals the reader an excellent start line to understand the presiding constitution and thematic concentration of this American vintage. This constitution, as a result of the poet's crafting and the poem's inner development, is illustrated within the textual content by means of greater than thirty reproductions of a few of the Dream music drafts in growth. No latest severe paintings examines at any place close to the variety of person Dream Songs as this reader's consultant, for you to let scholars and lecturers to go into Berryman's tricky poem with self belief and a formal experience of course. Its goal is to supply the start reader and the coed with a map for imminent this massive paintings and discovering their means via its elegiac constitution and appreciating its team spirit. a detailed examine the poem's language and stylistic recommendations, epic features and author's poetics, and such a lot specifically the elegiac circulate of the poem, will let even the beginner reader to go into Henry's international. The elegies as an entire give you the word of mourning that's on the center of Berryman's epic.

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Extra resources for Berryman's Henry: Living at the Intersection of Need and Art

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Walter Benjamin, Illuminations, New York, 1968, 141. 42 Dream Songs, 264. , 317. ”44 Henry attributes his living hell to the actions of both himself and others. He admits his needy, addictive nature, yet continues to live a life style that forces him to hospitals for recovery from his own alcoholic poisoning. He then ignores his own troubles and focuses on the troubles of others; this, too often, does little for his own mental and physical state. ”46 Henry vents his misanthropic disgust with “–Do I looking like a man spent years in Hell?

The same is true (with some proviso) of other poetic devices—meter, stanzaic form, language levels and textures, archaic diction, tortured usage—stimulants that lure the mind beyond normal message content, beyond good advice, political enticement or excuse, smug membership. Even puns help jar us from our torpor. 129 In Song 81, Henry is contemplating violent death. Just as Henry tends to break from his extended sonnet form when speaking of violent death, he often draws on simple rhymes to help control his emotions.

The “re” of “réquire” in Song 2 is stressed to keep the iambs of the line. These are spoken stresses. In “Fúnnee; he don’t féel so,”107 the marked emphasis slows the line down to highlight Henry’s uneasiness with fame. The accents here provide a dialectal pronunciation that is common in the colloquial to denote sarcasm and comic irony. In Song 29 the emphasis of “so” in “só heavy” stresses the Songs’ overall theme of loss and sorrow that is at the core of Henry’s being. ”108 The emphasis of “to “ suggests a reading of too as in “were you also good,” as opposed to “for” him.

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